5 ways to succeed in ministering to fraternities and sororities
By Isaac Jenkins
A majority of campus ministers stay at one campus for only 1-2 years. It takes around 4 years to really start seeing the fruit of your labor. You may have heard the saying, “We overestimate what we can accomplish in 1 year and we underestimate what we can accomplish in 4.” If you are serious about taking the Gospel to Greeks, you need to be patient. In our first year at Ole Miss, my wife and I were able to successfully do one coed study between the Sigma Chi’s and Delta Gammas. The next year we added the Sigma Nu’s and the Chi Omegas’. From these studies we launched a Greek Movement. 20 Falls later we had around 725 at our first weekly meeting and 10 coed studies and most of them “highly encouraged” their pledges to attend. As a result, 20 pledge classes had the opportunity to hear the Gospel and 149 made decisions!
Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
I know the Greek system can be very intimidating. I walk into every Frat house with the idea that I’ve got something they need to hear it if they don’t listen to what I have to say then they’re going to miss out hearing the Gospel. I never call officers when I am starting a new ministry in the chapter, I go to the house and try to meet them face to face. When I speak to pledge classes, my goal is to be as honest, clear and as confident as I can in my presentations. Greeks are mostly leaders and respect people who speak with confidence and authority.
3. Befriend actives but share the gospel with pledges
The goal of Greek ministry is to saturate a fraternity so if you share the gospel with every pledge class in four years you’ll of saturated the fraternity you have to be careful walking into a house in sharing the gospel with an officer because if you talk to them about Christ and there of another religion or have anti-Christ believes they can shut the door on you being in that attorney for the next several years I saw an example of this in one on one campus one time work I walked in and share the gospel with the president who was of a different religion and he shut the door for that guy to be able to come back in the house.
- Be careful not to speak your convictions too early
Remember that you may have developed your convictions over the course of several years and most of these students you are ministering to are young in their faith. I know someone working with Greeks one time told her Bible study they didn’t really think they need to be drinking alcohol and the entire Bible study quit coming to their Bible study. Remember you may have developed your convictions on a topic over months or years of spiritual growth. Since colleges students are between the ages of 18-22, their convictions on godly living are usually in a very young stage. I like to simply teach them the Word and allow the Holy Spirit to convict them on godly living. When I do address areas that might seem black and white to us but only a gray area to them, I like to look at passages like Romans 14:14-23 and Philippians 4:8. These passages can help a young believer think through their decisions. There are three questions I will ask a young believer when we meet up the first time. These questions help them to think inwardly about their spiritual maturity and helps me help them identify what they need to be doing to live holy lives and minister in their chapter.
- What do you need to be doing to get your self ready to minister in this Chapter next semester?
- What do you not need to be doing to get your self ready?
- and how can I help you?
Once I start an active or pledge Bible study, it is open to anyone. I call these “seeker studies” and my goal is to share Christ one on one with everyone who attends. When someone attends a study for the first time, I get their cell phone number after the study and ask if they would be able to meet up some time in the next week to discuss what we talked about. It is ideal to have one of the upper classmen, whom you are discipling, to go with you on the appointment. Several years ago I was working in the Phi Delt house at Ole Miss. I had an older Phi Delt named Russell Flint help me lead a house study. He got the guys there and we both followed up each new guy that came. Over the course of the year, we ended up sharing Christ with every active living in the house. Russell saw the Lord use him so much that he ended up joining staff with Cru and working with Greeks at UF.
Isaac can be reached at Isaac.jenkins@Cru.org with questions regarding ministering to Greeks. He also is available for online consulting sessions.