Now that you’ve prayed, dreamed, and defined your scope, and have made a plan for how and when each campus in your scope will be visited, it time to target your first location!
Before you take your first steps onto this university, pause for a moment and think about one very important principle: Whatever you do as you explore is what will eventually be modeled to the Key Volunteers you work with, so be sure you are exploring a university the way you would coach a volunteer to explore.
Whatever you do is what the key volunteers will do. So keep everything simple and easy to replicate.
Pick Your Method
There are many ways to explore a campus, the real skill in exploring well is developing a pattern of trying something, evaluating it, and trying something else to find the best practices for that campus. Every location in the world will respond differently to any particular method, so enter with a basic plan and change it up as you go. Here are a few suggestions you can try to help you get started…
Fast and slow: This style of method involves you physically walking around and talking to people. The “fast” refers to talking to a lot of people in a short amount of time by asking 1-3 very simple questions to help you find people interested in changing their campus whether Christian or not. These could inquire about churches nearby or people on the campus but take your time in finding the right questions that help you find what you are looking for. The “slow” refers to taking a longer amount of time with 1 person or a group. Slow could be sharing the gospel or vision casting. If you had a couple hours to explore using Fast and Slow, try doing “fast” for a short amount of time and “slow” for the majority of your time.
Networking: This style of method comes in countless forms. You could A) ask around nearby churches to find potential Key Volunteers, B) try using Facebook or other social media sites or apps to find people, or C) create an advertisement online, or a poster on campus that would help people find you if they are interested in bringing the gospel to their campus (or learning about the gospel). This is a short list and the idea again is try multiple methods.
Nothing special with this stage of exploring, but it’s very important. If you are fortunate enough to have a team of people pursuing a broad scope together, it would be useful to evaluate the methods you are using with them as well as by yourself.
What have you tried? How long did you try it for? What specifically did you say to people? What was the response from people?
Now, what do you want to change?
This doesn’t need to be a long conversation at all, just make sure it happens. Don’t worry about something not working well, or not being sure if something didn’t work well at first. You’ll figure all that out over time as you keep evaluating.
Check Your Heart
Some methods will work, some won’t. One day you’ll find a person interested in being a key volunteer and other days you won’t. What was the difference between the good days and the bad? Did you do something wrong?
The short answer is: probably not. But more importantly, that’s not what’s most important in all this.
We are told to delight ourselves in the Lord (Psalm 37), to work at whatever we do with all our heart (Colossians 3) and to trust in the Lord with all our hearts (Psalm 3).
As you start your Catalytic journey toward the unreached places you're pursuing, search your heart and see what's in there. A healthy practice of examining your heart will help keep you from falling into a pattern of doing your work for the wrong reasons?
Let God be concerned with the ministry results, and keep your eyes on your heart and what God might be teaching you through what he is asking you to do.