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Tips on starting your ministry with a sorority or fraternity

January 1, 2017

I placed my faith in Christ the summer before my sophomore year in high school.

Godly men in my church, especially my youth pastor, made a huge impact on me during these formative years so I immediately began to consider full-time ministry.

When I went off to college, I joined a fraternity and started volunteering at the local church and ministering to high school kids.

It wasn’t until the middle of my junior year when I realized that I already lived in the midst of a mission field—my fraternity.

This realization shifted my view of the type of full-time ministry I wanted to do. I decided that instead of working with youth, I wanted to minister to young men in fraternities.

In 1990 I joined staff with Campus Crusade and have been ministering to fraternities ever since.

In the last 26 years, I went overseas around 30 times, preached in six or seven different churches, and even had many of those churches ask if I would consider becoming a pastor. But I am always brought back to ministry with the Greeks on campus.

If you’re a campus minister starting Greek ministry, here are a few insights from my experience.

7 tips for starting a Greek ministry:

  1. When choosing a house to minister to, I would choose one of the bigger chapters on campus. Chances are they have a lot of the top campus leaders. When leaders are involved, others will follow.
  2. Walk confidently into the house knowing that if they don’t know Christ, then you have something they desperately need to hear.
  3. When I enter a chapter for the first time I make friends with the active members, but share Christ with the pledges. As you earn respect in the fraternity or sorority you can begin to share Christ with the active members. If you share the gospel with an active and they get offended, they can forbid you to come to the house. Pledges don’t have much influence over that.
  4. Build your relationship with the pledge trainer—meet him or her in person for your first meeting. He is less likely to trust you if called on the phone.
  5. Each fraternity and sorority has about an eight-week pledgeship. I offer to give several talks to the pledges on everything from manhood to the myths that pledges believe. You can find several of my talks on my website
  6. I find out what sorority they spend the most time with and set up a coed freshman Bible study. I do it for around three weeks just before dinner at the sorority house. Girls don’t like walking into frat houses, but guys love going to the girls’ house. After three weeks, I split the guys and girls so that the guys start meeting back at the fraternity house.
  7. Get comment cards during the pledge meetings or from the coed study. Use these to find out who is already a Christian and who is spiritually interested.

The Greek system is structured in such a way that helps recruit and disciple students for Christ. The individuals in the fraternity or sorority may change, but the relationship with the organization continues, making it one of the most strategic ministry opportunities on campus.