Much of the success of our M3 depends on the students– especially the upper classmen, owning their responsibility to create a culture of openness and acceptance. New students and younger students will be intimidated, maybe even scared, at the thought of meeting with a close-knit group of older, more secure, more comfortable, more “belonging” students. So we must teach our upper class students hospitality (welcoming people who feel uncomfortable). We must help them own their M3. Here are a few tips:
Model it. Engage the new student. Ask him questions, get to know him. Make him the center of attention for a little bit. Give him attention so he knows he’s cared for.
Create links. Look for things he may have in common with other members of the group. Try to facilitate relationships and make connections.
Talk about it. Never stop accentuating the need for Jesus-like kindness– the type that reaches out to the fringe, the neglected, the hurting. Talk about how it is not Christ-like to only associate with the popular. Get together with just your upper-classmen and talk this through.
Pray. True and genuine love is a blessing from God. No system can create it; if our students would show this love toward new students, God must do it. So pray.