Tim & Martha Lin – InterVarsity Michigan

August, 2023:

New Student Outreach...Online?

For the past couple of years, we have been intentionally learning about GenZ(those currently between 9 and 24 years old). This is the demographic that we are reaching out to on college campuses. What's unique about GenZ and how does that impact our outreach?

Through July and August, our team has been increasingly experimenting with outreach via social media. The concept is that GenZ students hunger for connection and community, and the earlier the connection, the better. So our staff and student leaders have been using Instagram to connect with incoming freshmen. To our delight, freshmen have been responding, eagerly chatting with us before they even set foot on campus!

We spent our Regional Staff Conference (staff team pictured above) in early August learning about GenZ distinctives and how to care for them well. For example, we learned that GenZ students, when they feel stressed and overwhelmed, will tend to "ghost" or ignore you, and continuing to reach out to them may just increase their anxiety/stress. 

Despite the challenges that comes with learning how God has wired a new generation, I am convinced more than ever that this generation is desperate and longing for spiritual truth. I see evidence of greater spiritual openness on campus, if only we can learn to love and connect with them well.

Will you pray for our staff and student leadership teams as they engage with students via Instagram in August? And will you pray for them as they prepare to welcome them warmly on campus with the good news of Jesus Christ? Thank you!

P.S.: If you're interested in the "ghosting"/overwhelmedness phenomenon, here is a worksheet that InterVarsity has developed for crafting beforehand an overwhelmedness plan with a GenZ student.

Prayer Needs:

  1. Praise and thanks to God for a great Regional Staff Conference!
  2. Praise and thanks to God for incoming freshmen responding to our Instagram outreach this summer.
  3. Pray for our regional staff and student leadership team as they prepare to welcome students to campus in a few weeks
  4. Pray for our 7 student interns as they prepare to lead on campus this fall. Pray that they will learn how to balance their school work, extracurriculars, and their student internship hours.
Thank you!