I noted yesterday one of the major resources we have for determining how best to grow the college students we’ve been called to shepherd. Those resources are the Singles Ministers, Young Adult Ministers, and really anybody else who works somewhat up-close with post-collegians.
(Add this area to the list of research projects somebody needs to pursue for our field of ministry. But for now, you’ve got plenty of people in your town you could talk to!)
While I would urge us to “go to the source” and observe our students’ future through the eyes of these ministers, I figured it might be edifying to note what I’ve observed myself. ‘Cause I am indeed a “single young adult,” and I’m involved in a church with a pretty thriving young adult crowd. So after spending a Labor Day retreat with 4 or 500 fellow young adults, this topic is rather on my mind.
What do we as college ministers need to do better to prepare students for their young adult lives?
Again, to be clear, I’m just pondering this one. This is not an area of particular expertise (which is why we need to consult those who actually work in this area!). But I was interested to see the list I’d come up with, and I’m interested to see if you – or even your young adult minister buddies – might have anything to add.
Here are some areas that may deserve a little more suitcase-packing:
- understanding the power of intimate Christian community and getting over the roadblocks to participating in it
- being great in the basics of the Christian walk
- watching out for the legalism and Gnosticism-lite that descends on college students and young adults alike
- learning and using spiritual disciplines (of various sorts)
- learning and using their personal spiritual gifts (of various sorts)
- the wonders of intergenerational connections
- having a battle-plan for the post-graduation disillusionment & other difficulties
- biblical literacy
- reading through the entire Bible by the time they’ve finished college
- shining the light of what God’s doing in their lives – both among non-Christians and among Christians
- knowing that God is calling them into a great, personal, impactful adventure…
- …but realizing that they were never, ever meant to “choose their own adventure” based simply on passions, hopes, desires, or circumstances
- understanding church
- finding a church
- singleness and its glorious opportunities
- servanthood and its glorious opportunities
- doing something cross-cultural (or even outside the country) by the time they graduate
- a realistic understanding of the various waits, slowdowns, and other patience-trying years that may await them in their 20s and 30s
- glorifying God via their vocations
- the amazing opportunity to give away much of what they earn, and everything else that it can mean to glorify God with finances
This honestly came off the top of my head, but it was interesting to ponder. What might you add? What do we college ministers need to be better about packing in our students’ post-graduation suitcases?