A Good Start...

   Getting off to a good start pays off in so many ways.  We've found that to be true when it comes to resurrecting the Christian faculty network and community on a campus each fall.  A little planning and a little action now can reduce your stress and help you accomplish something you'll be pleased with over the entire academic year...and more importantly something He will be pleased with.

  So for those of you who take organizational and spiritual leadership on your campus to re-form (and reform) the local fellowship/community here are some tips:

1.  The three most important things: pray, go to work, and trust God for the results, pray, go to work, and trust God for the results, and pray, go to work, and trust God for the results.

2. Line up the rooms, dates and times for your regular meetings right off the bat.  You may want to use something like Doodle to quickly organize your meeting options among your colleagues.  Of course, always pick a date where you can show up, along with as many of your friends as possible.

Does the room you line up have flexiblity of size?  Can you avoid the proverbial “BB in a boxcar” syndrome?  On the other hand, if the room is too small, it may uncousciously signal that you do not expect many to come.

Can you get one of your colleagues or staff to handle the meeting room logistics like setting up the microphone (if needed), computer hookups to projectors and so forth?  One less thing for you to be concerned with on the day of the meeting.

3.  Line up your speakers and presenters taking liberally from those who regularly attend your meetings and who have something edifying to say, but also including some “outside” speakers that would be attractive to a large segement of those who might come.  Think about “outside” speakers in terms of once a year or once each semester; they often stimulate the community and create momentum.

4.  Think of your group as having indviduals who have differing interests in attending, so think of diversifying the content over the year to make the group more inclusive and inviting.

5.  Finally: another “3” important things to grow your community: network, network and network.  Most people attend meetings because they are personally invited and not merely because they receive a list-serv invitation.

Get off to a good start...

Addendum Tips:

  • You “never” have announcements, you have only “important things to say" at your meetings.
  • Make sure you have a habit of starting your meetings on time and ending them on time.  Let people know they can quietly leave early if they need to do so.
  • It’s a good idea to schedule your meetings on a regular (like once or twice a month) day of the week and in the same room.  People sometimes have trouble finding new rooms and show up at the “old” room only to find they went to the wrong one.
  • Are you thinking about taking advantage of noteworthy speakers coming through town?  For instance, the Evangelical Philosophical Society and the Evangelical Theological Society meet in Denver in November of 2018.  If you are networked and in the Denver/Front Range area, you might pick up a speaker coming to these meetings and save yourself the cost of flights.  Now is a good time to start getting your antennae up!
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