The common wisdom suggests that the first three weeks of the school year are the most significant for reaching new students, reconnecting with old ones, and helping catapult students toward a significant, God-centered semester.

The three-week theory makes sense to me: Week 1 is Crazy Week; week 2 things start to settle; week 3, the settled starts to gel, to become habit, and it feels like routine has begun.

(Notably, this sequence applies to students’ personal walks with the Lord, their decisions about commitments and opportunities, and even the group dynamics of an entire campus.)

If the first three weeks of a school year are special, then we should probably be treating them special – in actual, “tangible” ways.

So, since most colleges started a good week ago (and some started further back than that), time is slipping away…

Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Tick-tock.

(And yes, I realize that many of you Quarter System people are still enjoying a last, lazy month in the California sun, or wherever. But your three weeks are right around the bend!)


  1. What do you mean by “tangible ways? In our ministry, we spend two solid weeks on campus, handing out free bottled water and inviting people to church. What are some other ways that ministries around the country have marked the beginning of the year?

  2. Yeah, that would definitely be a “tangible” way.

    I just know it’s easy for us to call those weeks “important,” but for that importance to stay mostly theoretical or in mindset only, instead of showing up in active ways.

    (Great question, by the way – I’ll try to post further on this sometime this week.)

    Obviously, there are lots of recruitment, get-the-word-out activities you can do in that key time. But besides those, a focus on the first three weeks could include changing our teaching themes, making a point to strategize especially thoroughly (beforehand), going full-tilt in energy and time spent on campus, etc.

    Last year, I observed recruitment activities more than the other things, but I do know some ministries focus heavily on helping freshmen transition to college during this time, helping with church choice (whether or not they choose yours), making sure to emphasize all the opportunities their ministry has for involvement (obviously), or even holding a sort of full-fledged “orientation” for new students.

    But I imagine there are a million other examples! Anybody who knows of any, feel free to add them!

  3. Pingback: barn building « Exploring College Ministry

Leave a Reply