Mind the Gap

MTG_PageHeader

MIND THE GAP is a place for ideas for Young Adult ministry to grow and flourish. The initiative was created to address the current exodus of young adults from churches and, more specifically The Salvation Army.  David Kinnaman writes in his book,You Lost Me, that “overall, there is a 43 percent drop-off between the teen and early adult years in terms of church engagement. These numbers represent about eight million twenty-somethings who were active churchgoers as teenagers.”

So how do we stop that from happening? We PAY ATTENTION! And that’s what Mind the Gap is all about.  Paying attention. Mind the Gap isn’t a formula or set program.  It’s a sounding board for ideas that will help equip Corps to better minister to their college students. Grants are available! Check out the “Grants” tab for more info!

MTG_Grants

A grant of $3000 goes directly to participating corps to cover the cost of food (for on-campus lunches, meals with students, parties, etc), gifts for graduating seniors, outings, gas, gift packages for students who have moved away, etc. during the initial year.  During a corps’ second year of participation, corps would get a $2,000 grant and during their third year of participation, they would receive $1,000.

Year 1 – $3000

Year 2 – $2,000

Year 3 – $1,000

The following responsibilities must be met in order to qualify for the grant:

Corps Responsibilities

1. Corps would be required to hold a start-up meeting within the first month on-campus.  Options for the first meeting include:

  • Meeting with the Student Life Director to discover ways to partner with the campus and The Salvation Army
    • Does the campus require volunteer hours for their students each semester? If so, what opportunities does The Salvation Army provide in the way of volunteering?
    • Get a college calendar to find out when there are festivals and events when The Salvation Army could bring a canteen, advertise, support students, help freshmen move in, etc.
  • Meeting with the Religious Life Director
    • Discover what campus ministries already exist on-campus
    • Where can The Salvation Army be of service? Do a monthly meeting on-campus, hold a weekly Bible Study, be a chaplain for one of the dorms, be an advisor for one of the existing ministries?
  • Take a student who currently attends the college to lunch to discover how/what he/she thinks The Salvation Army could do on his/her campus.
  • Other (Corps Officer, BFI, employee or volunteer decides how they want to show up, they just let us know how they did).

2. Corps would be required to then hold a monthly meeting on-campus during the school year.  The meeting on-campus could look like a variety of things (including the list above) but getting on-campus is vital to beginning an outreach and meeting students where they are.

3. In addition, corps would be required to hold a monthly meeting specifically for college students, young adults and/or those who are in their junior and senior year of High School and getting ready to transition to college.  Some options for the corps monthly meetings are:

  • Mini I’ll Fight Day for those students from the college who have signed up to volunteer with The Salvation Army
  • Small Group for Young Adults
  • Small Group specifically for Juniors and Seniors in High School to help them identify who they are in Christ and establish their faith as something separate than that of their parents/leaders
  • A meal
  • A party
  • An outing
  • Laundry party
  • Servant Evangelism to members of the Corps

4. Corps would send in a monthly report to DHQ with a copy to THQ.  Young Adult and Mission Deployment Director would make follow up calls with any corps who were not able to meet their monthly requirements to troubleshoot any problem areas and to come up with creative ways to overcome any current issues.  DHQ would be invited to take part in any and all follow up calls.

THQ will then follow up with their end of the deal:

THQ Responsibilities

1. Sending a start-up packet to each corps who joins the challenge which will include:

  • College Ministry 101 –book by Chuck Bomar
  • Before They Say Goodbye –book by David Sawler
  • A sample of a campus ministry idea with worksheets to help Corps Officers think through some of the strategies and questions to ask before, during and after going on-campus.
  • List of web resources and ideas to help get them thinking critically and moving in the right direction

2. A monthly mailing, mailed on the 15th of each month to corps who have turned in their reports from the previous month.
 

MTG_Corps

Gainesville, FL
Tallahassee, FL
Baltimore, MD (Hampden)
Arlington, TX
Maryville, TN (Blount County)
Dalton
Norfolk, VA (Hampton Roads Kroc)
Bowling Green, KY
Toccoa, GA
Jackson, MS
Savannah, GA
Nashville, TN (Berry Street)
Lynchburg, VA
VA Penninsula
NCV DHQ Youth Dept