kick it off! (a fridea)

Last night I attended the Small Groups Kick-off for my church’s college ministry. We had a couple of inflatable games, hot dogs and hamburgers, music, and lots of hanging out. This is the planned opportunity for small group members to get to know their leaders, but it also functions as a great celebration of another semester of this important component of the ministry.

So I got to thinking…

Why don’t we “kick things off” more?

I wonder what it might communicate to our students if a college ministry celebrated – even with an actual party! – other starts throughout the year:

  • the beginning of a new teaching series
  • the commissioning of student leaders
  • the start of a ministry or service team
  • the start of planning our next mission trip (!)
  • the hiring of a new staff member
  • the very beginning of an attempt to reach a new segment of campus

This idea isn’t about trying to market these things; multiple “kick-off events” designed simply as promotional/recruitment schemes will wear out their welcome with students quickly. No, this idea is about communicating the value of these things and your excitement about them – two things we probably don’t communicate enough (especially about the annual, expected activities).

What program in your college ministry will start or restart in the next few weeks? Or the next few months? Could you “kick it off” in grand style?

Yes, we could overdo it and have too many kick-off events. But used judiciously, they could serve as fitting celebrations of the truly big news in our ministry. Even if our programs seem like “same ol’, same ol'” to our students – or even if they happen behind the scenes altogether – we college ministers know how important these activities are and how much they can impact individuals, the group, and our campuses.

How better to communicate the importance of important ministry activities than with a kick-off?

What – were you just going to make a 30-second announcement?

After a great summer of Frideas, I’m continuing these “big ideas on Fridays” this semester! And like today’s Fridea, I’ll hopefully fit the semester calendar (more or less). You can see all the Frideas, with a quick description, at this post.


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  1. As much I like kickoffs, I like closing parties better. There’s nothing better than taking your student small group leaders to a cool restraunt at the end of the semester for a party to show they how much you appreciate them and enjoy them.

  2. I think creating a culture of celebration in the church is important. I bet we could even extend this to celebrate things in the lives of our students: passing that final exam, applying for graduation, getting an internship, etc. It might be more meaningful to celebrate those types of things than the start of a new series. <– this idea would certainly be easier in a SMALLER group where you didn't have to worry about 100+ personal life celebrations.

    For a larger group, maybe have small groups (if you have small groups) do the same and have the large group do a celebration for everyone who has a birthday in October, for example.

    While I'm not in college ministry, this post has certainly given me ideas for working with the middle school and high school kids at my church!

  3. Awesome ideas, Jake & Nick. You’re right, Jake – closing parties (“kick-ons”? That doesn’t work…) are SO neat – and they’re not only encouraging for students, but they’re encouraging for us, too. (Sometimes college ministers probably have to be organizers of our own encouragements!)

    Thanks for chiming in, too, Nick, and I definitely agree! One of those celebrations I’ve done occasionally is celebrating students’ spiritual birthdays, too. Kind of makes a neat point. And like you’re inferring, having that culture of celebrating – for all the things you mentioned – means we have to be in each other’s lives enough to “rejoice with those who rejoice.”

    Awesome, fellas!

  4. One of the things I’ve resonated with greatly as I’ve connected with the CCO ( is their core values. One of those is celebrating life. To me, this value definitely needs to be infused more purposefully into our ministries (college or otherwise). As somewhat of a caution or differing opinion…I believe the line can be pretty thin between celebrating intentionally and effectively…and just creating a culture of hype. During my 15 years of middle and high school ministry, I’d say we were guilty of that. But theoretically, I agree! Let’s celebrate on both ends of the equation…what God is about to do and what He’s been doing.

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