Yesterday, I wrote a reflection on New Student Orientations, pointing out what a “brink” those pre-freshman moments are for students. Whether Orientation is the brink of life-finding and life-living or the brink of deep difficulty and ambushing pain, these moments set the stage for one of the biggest watershed moments of life.
Yet while this philosophical rumination is all well and good, it’s concrete methods that make way for fruit.
This week’s Fridea is to make Orientation a part of your summer, too. Whether your school or schools “orient” their students all summer long, right before school starts, or both, I encourage you to make New Student Orientation a key piece of your preparation for the Fall Semester.
Personal, prayer, perception. First off, you could head to campus all by yourself. Drink in the culture of these nervous new students who will make incredibly drastic choices between now and October. Think about it all. Let yourself get emotional and analytical (perhaps on separate days?). Pray like crazy over these guys and gals and this mission field called campus. Read any new signs, any new school newspapers, any new faces. Perceive!
Leaders and Leaders. You can also bring others in on this experience, too!
One key group is your student leaders. Hopefully you see this as a key part of your job: helping Christian students deeply understand their campus as their assigned mission field. Bringing them in on your Orientation perceptions and talking together about what you’ve seen (debriefing) could be a powerful prep for any position – titled or untitled – they’ll have this year.
But there’s another group that might be worth your while in this endeavor. Have you ever thought about taking your Pastor to campus (whether you’re a church-based ministry or not)? What about several local church leaders? What about parents or other adults? What if they started to see campus more like you do?
And what if you saw campus more like you do, too? Hooray for Orientation.
Written from Dania, FL (Ft. Lauderdale area)