Boston Above The Haze
A Chi Alpha Campus Ministry
God wants us to have a welcoming and inviting heart. People have a deep desire to be welcomed and included. The beginning of the university year is one of the times this desire is often felt by students. Here are some thoughts to consider when we meet new people this year.
Megan, a friend, told me a story about the beginning of her first year of college. She heard about a Christian student group that was doing a BBQ. She was interested and she brought along a couple of friends to check it out with her. Nobody at the BBQ talked to her or her friends; Nobody got to know them. She felt unwelcome and never went back. Her story of this cold experience has stuck in my mind as a cautionary tale. This story is why intentional hospitality is so important.
Brady, a campus missionary, has a heart for God and for people. To be intentionally hospitable and welcoming, he has emphasized that members of their campus ministry should be lookouts. This means people are on the lookout for those who are first timers, making sure they are welcomed and included. Students remember the first people who both welcomed and got to know them.
Hellen, a recent BU grad, will always be known for welcoming and including others. At the end of last semester many students said they were so thankful for Hellen because she was known for excitedly asking people she just met “Can I give you a hug?” Through this and many other ways Hellen has welcomed and included people, letting them know God’s love.
If you are like me you remember what it was like to move to a new place or a new school. We often put on an appearance of confidence during these high stress/exciting times. In fact, most people are nervous and hoping for acceptance. It’s our place to be welcoming and help people relax as we invite them into a new opportunity. Let’s meet new students, invite new students, and include new students in our lives as an act of God’s love.
Even though Ananias and Barnabas have some good reason to assume Saul is their enemy, they feel God’s prompting to welcome and include him in God’s family. How would Saul have been welcomed into God’s family, if it were not for Ananias and Barnabas taking a risk? …and how great is the reward for all of us because they did take this risk? (see Acts 9)
Let your friends decide - invite everyone you meet to everything we do. Tuesday night meetings, events, small groups, church, Jenga Night, meals, hanging out - give them options, let them decide.
Create a get together - throw something together and invite your friends. A movie at your place, game night at your place, a favorite TV show night, go out for frozen yogurt, meet for dinner before the Tuesday night meeting or small group, lunch after church.
Welcome & Connect - look for and care for the new people at our meetings and events. Make a point to introduce yourself and connect them with others in ATH.
“Getting to know you” questions - Where is home? What are you interested in? What are you studying? What is your religious background? How can we help you while you are here at BU?
Respect others, even if they are not present - If we speak about others who aren't around, let us speak well of them. People see our actions. When people see us gossip, they reasonably assume we will gossip about them.
We can get weirdly irrational, pessimistic, and fearful when approaching people. In reality, most people like to be invited to things and included. Give people time to think through and respond to invitations. Some people will be interested and some won’t.
Example Text Message:
This is Lynn. I’m with Above the Haze. Hope your first days at BU are going well. I would like to get acquainted. What do you think about getting coffee or a meal? Thursday?
Example Email/Phone call:
Hello, my name is Lynn from Above the Haze. I met you at our table at Splash. I hope your first few days at BU have gone well.
I am writing/calling to say hi and to see if we could get together. I would love to introduce myself, get to know you, and answer any questions you have about Above the Haze. What would be a good time for you this week?
Share your personal experience. What is it about ATH that attracted you and keeps you coming back?
Our philosophy statement will help give you some words to use:
Above the Haze is a Christian Community of Discipleship pursuing: Worship, Prayer, Witness, Service, and Justice.
What kind of a group are you? - We are an interdenominational Christian student group at BU.
Who can come? - Anyone can come to anything we do. You don’t have to be a Christian.
When do you meet? - Every Tuesday night in the Theology Building, room B19, from 7-8:30 PM.
How can I get involved? - Come to our weekly meetings, get into a small group, help with our events, help with Feed One, spring break missions trip, join the worship team, come to Action Team meetings, etc.
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