I've spent a good part of my work life the past couple of weeks working on a grant application to fund part of our college ministry on the Missouri State campus. Currently our college ministry consists of small groups (right now there's only one running), mission projects (which will be increasing in the spring), a weekly coffee gathering, special events, and a monthly worship service. We were awarded a grant this fall to help us purchase portable a/v gear to be able to do the worship on campus. We'll start our monthly worship on campus in February. We're planning to go every week in the fall. We still haven't picked out the gear yet, but that's another post.
As we were determining what we wanted our college ministry to look like we did some focus groups. The research methodology isn't very sound, and I'm pretty sure that we couldn't get any statistical significance out of the data (although I'm pretty sure you can't get quantitative data from a focus group without some intense coding). For the focus groups we gathered together groups of students (usually 12-15) and just let them chat about a series of questions. The first group was students currently involved in some way with our ministry, the others have been random assortments of students recruited mainly with free pizza. We didn't do much other than clarify the questions, and ask "is there anything else to add to this question?" until they said they were finished. We then moved on to the next question.
We asked four questions:
- How can a church help you develop your faith as a college student?
- What are you looking for in a campus ministry?
- How can you bridge the two together, a church and a campus ministry?
- What would a new church for college students look like?
I'll share what we learned from each of the four questions next week.