at the hinge

This week, I’m thinking a lot about the impact college ministers can have on youthies. I intro’d that on Sunday; here’s another thought.

One of the great reasons for Collegiate Ministry is that it connects with people in the hinge of life: in those key college years. It’s a time when choices – whether good or bad – often have more radical effects than they do earlier or later. True success in college can have a particularly strong effect for the years following, and even for life. Failure in those years, of course, can work the same way.

So I honestly believe that the biggest “hinge” moment is (generally) right then, in those first few years after high school years.

Obviously, the years before college, the years after college, and other life stages are a big deal. But COLLEGE is, for many,  a very special hinge.

So why would we, who work daily in this hinge, ever spend time ministering to those outside it?

What if what we say and do and teach before the hinge provides people a better “hinge” season altogether? What if we college ministers impact youth in ways that specifically prepare them for the college years?

Yesterday I pointed a high school senior to a college I thought she might be interested in, a university that happens to be in the same town as another school she visited recently. I think this “School #2” might just provide a better experience – spiritually, socially, academically – for this gal, and she wanted to hear my thoughts. She had already noticed the school; now she’s planning to check it out.

Can you imagine the kind of impact that one conversation could have?

Of course, she might stick with her original school – or go somewhere else entirely. It’s a long way to August 2009.

But what if I planted a helpful seed yesterday, and School #2 makes the cut? Then our little discussion was simply College Ministry: The Prequel; I improved her college experience, regardless of when I happened to do it.

That’s our job, right? This is simply one lil’ chance to get ahead of the game.

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