big idea #8: four years or forty

Are we impacting students for four years of following Jesus… or forty?

The “Big Idea” series is now at number 8:

Help students transition from college.

This is yet another opportunity to transform our college ministries – by beginning to take the long view of student discipleship.

I would argue that our greatest aim should not be for our students to be awesome spiritual leaders by the time they get to their senior year. Our greatest goal should be for our present students to be awesome spiritual leaders when they’re senior adults.

Remember, in the last Big Idea post I suggested that youth ministers (and parents, etc.) have the primary responsibility for a successful transition to college. Just as a quarterback must be more “accurate” than a receiver, so those “throwing” college students into college have primary responsibility for how they land.

But before anyone gets mad about that – and before we college ministers get too comfortable – let me note that I’m fair in my logic. I have the exact same argument for the Latter Transition.

Except for the students themselves of course, we have the primary responsibility for helping students transition well from college to young adult life. Not young adult ministers, singles ministers, or new spouses(!). It’s our job. Not that others shouldn’t help; they should help, just as we college ministers should certainly invest in helping the transition to college.

But either we’re preparing them for the post-college leap – and for the years following the leap – or we’re not.

In many cases, we’re not. I’m guilty of that, too.

I’ll flesh this out more in the days to come. Feel free to add your thoughts along the way.

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