strategy in the end times

Over the next week, I hope to focus several posts on ways to successfully finish out this portion of the school year, before all the students head to Winter Break and ultimately into their next semester / quarter.

This theme presupposes something that I’m not sure all of us believe: The last days can be used strategically in college ministry, just like the first days of the school year.

So without adding any sort of “fluff” to today’s post, I want to leave a question to ponder on this first school day after Thanksgiving:

How well have you strategized the last days of your semester?

If this is something you haven’t thought through, I urge you to consider it. Or if you’re simply “running great college ministry plays” that have worked before, consider auditing those ideas to make sure it’s your best strategy this time around. What goals do you have in mind for these two weeks? What do you want students to depart knowing, feeling, and/or doing? How are you going to get them there?

I believe how we spend the last two weeks of a semester or quarter can make a lot of difference in students’ lives.

Enjoy the pondering. If I can help, let me know.

And stay tuned for some thoughts on this lil’ topic.

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2 Comments

  1. Tyler Ellis

    Great posts Benson! Here are some things that our ministry does at the end of both semesters:

    HIGHLIGHT VIDEO
    Make a Highlight Video of pictures & footage collected throughout the semester. This can be shown at the last gathering; copies passed out to take home and show parents; and posted on Facebook. This can include interviews of students expressing testimonies too (or we’ll have an open mic time).

    ALL-NIGHT PRAYER SESSION
    These are a powerful way to wrap up a semester. We assign a theme to each hour. We pray on our own at stations, and as a group. I set up a white board for them to write the names of their friends who are not Christians. Then we have a hot breakfast in the morning.

    PUBLIC AFFIRMATION
    This is an opportune time to express your appreciation to all those who served or completed a Bible study course. Student Leaders, International Student Hosts, Volunteers who led worship and prepared food, financial donors, etc. We’ll also praise God for those who’ve come to Christ.
    Gifts are always nice: certificates, flowers, gift cards, photo album, etc.

    FINAL MESSAGE
    > I usually teach a lesson about faithfulness. In the introduction, I throw out some reflective questions: How far have you come? In your imagination, push rewind to the first day of Freshman year and consider how far you’ve come. In your thinking about God. In your thinking about yourself. In your sense of purpose. In your understanding of the Bible. In your attitude toward others. In your attitude toward money and possessions. In your goals and ambitions. How have you grown and experienced healing? What have you overcome? Conflicts resolved? How has God used you to influence and bless others? What questions have been answered or how have you gained confidence? How have you been equipped and prepared for the future?
    > I emphasize two responsibilities: Intentionality and Accountability.
    > Questions: What do you do to make sure you don’t forget important things? How do you finish what you started?
    > There are tons of scriptures that use words like “remember”, or “see to it”. 2 Tim. 2:8; Ecc. 12:1; Luke 22:19
    > 2 Pet. 1:3-15
    > There are many warnings as well: 1 Cor. 10:12, “Let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.” 1 Peter 5:8, “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”
    > Practical Goals: Find a church, Stay in touch, Be accountable, Read, Pray, Give, Use your gift, Volunteer
    > Prayer: “God, please do whatever it takes to help me do whatever it takes to be faithful to the end.”

    HANDOUTS
    It’s good to send students away with something in their hands. The Christmas break is perfect for passing out a new Bible Reading Schedule. Also, a list of recommended books and videos to read.

  2. Pingback: a list of finals week ideas! « Exploring College Ministry blog (daily notes about our field)

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