I have rarely (if ever) reposted a former blog entry. But about a year ago – and also the Monday after Thanksgiving – I wrote a post that seems particularly applicable to this time each year. And I’ve even updated it a bit.
So here’s this year’s charge to do something great in a very special college ministry season: those cwazy, cwazy final weeks before all the little kiddies take big tests and then go away.
- Serve your heart out. These are weeks when students need everything from Scantrons to car tune-ups to counseling about their family situations. Or, Finals brownies! Why not write thank-you notes to professors? Or parents back home? You can ask staff / faculty / administration if they have any special needs as things wind down. And of course, a zillion local churches and service organizations have projects they’re working on for the Holiday Season, too, and you guys could join in.
- Host. Why not host study hours or tutoring sessions? Why not make some snacks for dorms? Why not have a “study break” party? Why not camp out on campus? Or go really big – like Blackhawk Church in Madison – and host a Study Day.
- Share Christ. There’s probably an uptick in students’ focus on religious themes – or at least there will be in the coming month. Are there ways to share, with gentleness and respect, right now… or to provide students with Jesus-exploring resources for their extended time away from school?
- Teach. Teach about Christmas. Teach about growing in Christ during the Break. Teach about “Glorifying God in Finals.” Teach about loving (and enduring) family. Teach in some special venue, or on campus, or as a three-week intensive. Or teach ONE thing to your group – a whole new mini-series right at the end – that will get them ready for a revolutionary Spring.
- Finish something. Your best option in these few weeks could simply be to get that particular “to do” item finally finished. Right now, when your calendar is a little bit lighter and students are tied up studying and such.
- Connect. Local churches – whether you’re a church-based ministry or not – are all hyped for the Holidays now. How can you connect that energy to the campus?
- Have a blast. For example, I’m still waiting for somebody to have a Game Marathon during Finals. (Ingredients: some ongoing, unchanging game(s) where the participants change as people go study or take tests. Keep track of teams and points across the hours. Do it right, and I bet you draw a crowd.)
- Unveil. “Did you hear that? I can’t wait until next semester!!!”
- Recruit. Why not add to your ranks now, or at least help students start thinking about participating in 2010? (More on this idea.)
- Make a splash. While every other activity on campus is winding down, what if your ministry did something ultra-noticeable? Fun? Surprising? Random?
- Tighten bonds. Or maybe the best thing for your group is to take a couple of community-building weeks. If your group was that much tighter before they left for the break, I bet there would be plenty of benefits once they got back. (And they might even stay connected better with each other and you over Christmas!)
Do y’all have any further ideas for this high-potential season?
written from back home after Road Trip 13! (recap coming tomorrow)