Table is a stationary form of intentional engaging used on campus. It involves workers stationed at a table in a good people flow area. The workers sit at the table and wait for others to approach. They don’t “bark” (call out) but rather wait for the curious to approach. A well positioned table will attract students. When students inquire simply say, “It's a survey, want to take it?” Most will. If they ask what it's about, say, “You.”
Table incorporates two tools. Soularium and the Table survey. Solarium incorporate the first step in Gather (Engage( and the Table Survey incorporates the last two steps of Gather (Inform and Invite). Solarium is a create, fun conversation tool that allows workers to get to know students on a personal level. The Table Survey enables students to express their interest in knowing more about the life Jesus offers. We tell students there are four questions. The first three use Soularium. The fourth one is the Table Survey. We ask three questions when using Soularium:
What three cards best describe you?
What one card best describes you in five years?
What one card best describes God to you?
Table requires keeping the overall purpose in mind. Use the materials to create a fun and friendly dialogue. As a rule, avoid topics that might create tension (morality) or spark debate (politics). Be sure to complete the Gather process by inviting the student to take Table Survey. If you are an 18-20 year old student on a community college campus, target age appropriate freshmen and sophomores. Thank those who don’t fit your group’s profile for taking the survey. Encourage them to find fellowship in a local church. Don’t own the burden of meeting the need of those who have a level of care that exceeds your group’s resources. If however, you’re an adult looking for people to disciple, be open to who God might be sending your way.
The following is a list of items for an effective Table experience.
A table and chairs. Any flat surface will do. Cafeteria tables, picnic tables or your own tables. Often schools provide table and chairs for official clubs. If not, bring your own. Be creative. Do what works.
Candy. While not essential, when spread out on the table over the cards it increases the number of people who stop by. Some just want a sweet treat. Many enjoy the candy while taking the survey. We use tootsie rolls or smarties since they don’t melt.
Table survey. See above.
Small clipboards (for the Table survey).
Signage? We choose not to use signage. We allow our interaction with people to create define us and create our identification with them. If asked, we say we are a campus ministry. We have found that many have taken the survey who might not otherwise have done so if we had a sign identifying ourselves as a Christian club.
New Testamentsor gospel of John. We use the NLT because its so easy to read. We use them to teach students the "One Thing Study." This is for those who say "Yes" to the "Do you want to know more?" question.
E-Bags. We created an “all in one” evangelism resource we call an “E-Bag.” It is for those ready to train others. It includes candy, clip boards, Table and Clipboard surveys, pens, Soularium cards, NLT New Testaments and gospels of John.