What if every college student (Christian or not) had the opportunity to engage in or be engaged by a church plant during college? Imagine how individuals and families and nations would look if college students believed that starting new churches was the norm for all believers? Baptismal declines would reverse. Societies would pivot toward Christ, and the gospel would proliferate rapidly across the globe.
Increasingly, churches across the Southern Baptist Convention are recognizing the extreme value of launching churches on or near campuses. They see that college students are the most moldable, malleable, and movemental demographic today, and that students (compelled by the gospel) are awaiting for an invitation and pathway to leverage their lives for the expansion of God’s Kindgom.
For many, collegiate church planting is a novel term, and plenty of questions surround the concept: “Are college churches just for collegians?” “Are they just for Christians?” “Are they acceptable on campuses?” To help answer these questions and others like them, let’s take some space to unpack the biggest misconceptions around collegiate church planting and at the same time share some of the most exciting features of what could become a church planting movement.
Misconception #1: Collegiate churches are just for college students – In reality, most of the hundred collegiate churches we work with around North America range in composition from 30-90% college students. Rarely, a church will start 100% collegian, but as the founding group ages, so does the church. In reality, while collegiate churches start with a lot of collegians, most become community-focused churches within a decade or so. What sets collegiate churches apart from those who don’t become community churches is their commitment to remain focused on reaching lost collegians as long as the church exists.