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If Jesus was a woman…in a sorority

What do Hollywood actress, Jennifer Garner, former US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, and singer Alicia Keys have in common with hundreds of women on your campus? These women are all members of National Sororities!

No matter your campus size, SEC school or a small private college, it is undeniable that Fraternities and Sororities produce leaders that are major influences in the world!

Because these women will graduate and be influencers, it is important that we reach them with the gospel while they are in college.

Here are five things we see in Jesus’ life to create a successful sorority ministry.

1. Remember your power source

We see Jesus constantly embracing His power source. In Mark 1:35, Jesus got up early, while it was still dark, went outside, and spent time alone with the Father. It is our time with God that will drive us in ministry for the long haul.

My first year on staff in college ministry, I seemed to have a fruitful sorority ministry.

I prayed with a student in my discipleship group for God to work in the sorority daily, and our prayers were answered.

We went into the next year with prideful hearts, thinking we had everything figured out. Our prayer lives were small so fruit from ministry was small as well.

I learned that it is impossible for me to save anyone—only Jesus has the power to save.

It is important to remember that the Holy Spirit is the one who empowers us to share the gospel. We must remember the promise in Acts 1:8, “ But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you” and Romans 1:16, the gospel is the “power of salvation to all who believe”.

When we speak the gospel, we speak the power of salvation. So when we are pursuing women who are intimidating and do not want anything to do with the gospel, we must remember to be relentless in prayer and evangelism, trusting that the Holy Spirit is working in us to bring His people to Himself.

2. Be with them

If anyone has done this well, it is Jesus. Just looking at the gospel, Christ left the Heavenly places to live among those He came to save!

We can also see in Jesus’ daily life how He was constantly with His people. Mark 3:14 says “He appointed twelve so that they might be with Him…” Everywhere Jesus went the disciples went with Him.

In college, some of my best memories happened late at night laughing with sisters and having great gospel conversations.

As awkward as you will feel overstaying your welcome in a house of a 19 year old, you will build friendships that will gain miles in your evangelistic relationships.

For those laboring on a campus without sorority houses, you have to be little bit more creative. Find out where the girls hang out. Walk into the cafeteria and look for letters—those are the people we want to eat with.

3. Love what they love

Jesus was fully in the world of the people he was ministering. He was culturally relevant, without coming close to sinning. He shared meals with people who were known sinners (Matthew 9:10) and went fishing with his disciples (John 21:3-11).

Jesus was involved in their hobbies, social lives, and personal lives.

It is important to be culturally relevant to the girls you minister to.

When I first came on staff, the girls in my sorority Bible Study kept talking about pomping and pep rally practice.

The girls were spending hours doing this leading up to Homecoming, and I had no idea what they were doing. So, I became an expert on pomping and Pep Rally. I found out that great friendships can be built over rolling tissue paper… it’s crazy!

Knowing the latest entertainment news can be helpful too.

One day in the cafeteria, I saw a table of intimidating sorority girls. My plan was to say a quick “hey”, then go on to my next thing. As I walked up, I heard talk about Pretty Little Liars, Revenge, and Friends, all shows I knew something about, so I sat down and started talking with them. The small talk led into an encouraging gospel conversation.

It’s also fun when girls realize you are a “normal” person with “normal” interests—that favor can bring great connections.

That being said, there is certainly no need to binge on Netflix to be culturally relevant. We want to value holiness more than relevance, while still enjoying things in their life whether that is homecoming, TV shows, or ice cream.

4. Serve them like crazy

Jesus came not to be served but to serve (Matthew 20:26-28).

One of the most well-known examples of service is when He washed his disciples feet.

I hate feet. I would have cringed just at the thought of having to wash those feet, but Jesus willingly washed the feet of his disciples (John 13:1-20).

Jesus constantly placed Himself under those who followed him and has called us to do the same thing!

When I was in college, my roommate who was not in my sorority wanted to help do some ministry in my chapter.

During recruitment, we needed to sew curtains to cover some walls. She volunteered to sew the curtains and help decorate. Years after college, she has good friendships with some of my sisters because she used her time and served the chapter.

Maybe you and some other girls in the ministry could cook a meal for the Sisterhood Retreat. It’s always good for your face to be associated with non-obligatory free food. Offer help for any and all events that you can. Not only will they know you love them because you are helping out, but you get time with them!

5. Be creative

No two Greek systems are the same, so feel free to think outside of the box. Don’t be afraid to fail.

My first fall on staff with the ministry, I invited an entire new pledge class over for dinner. I cooked enough for 50 girls… only one showed up. It seemed like a failure, but we used all that extra food to do some outreach and laughed really hard. It ended up being a win!

Try a Tour de Frat! Take a lap around all the fraternity houses and do a few little pranks.

We once taped down air horns and threw them into each house. We laughed a lot, and then at the end of the night we had great gospel conversations.

Think outside the box in your Bible Studies. Maybe you need to base your Bible Study off of the Pop Music Top 40 Hits?

I tried something called the 5 H’s (Heritage, Hobbies, Happy Time, Hard Time, Hand of God). I learned it from another staff woman. At first I was skeptical, but the girls that came to my Bible Study loved it. Each week a different sister shares and everyone feels more connected by the end.

When I see the example that Jesus’ life gives us for our personal ministry, I get excited because Jesus has already done it bigger and better than we ever will.

Looking to the cross frees us to fail. The only failure in Greek ministry is not showing up to do it!

No matter what happens, Jesus is 100% thrilled with you—not because of anything that you have done, but because of what Christ has accomplished on the cross!

Reflection questions:

What is keeping you from having a ministry with the sorority women on your campus?

What are the strengths and weaknesses of the sorority ministry on your campus?

Make a list of 5-10 things that you have never done before to try to reach the sorority women on your campus.

  • Hey Heather
    I like this post. I have recently dived back into greek ministry and am loving watching God so active in their lives. It is truly a beautiful thing to watch. Thanks for your encouragment in how to love them more!