This week I’ve been exploring ways to maximize the final weeks of our semesters and quarters. One reason what we do NOW is especially impactful is because it could influence our students’ entire time over the Winter Break.
So as I was pondering last night about what a ministry could do even if all their “programming” is done for the semester, I stumbled upon the idea of the Home-Bound Challenge. (This particular name has multiple layers of meaning, but you can call it whatever you want, of course.)
The idea is to challenge your students with specific spiritual activities for the Winter Break. Students face the culture-shock of being home AND the busyness of the Christmas season… so giving them an actual “goal list” will really help them.
And you might consider holding a night just to share testimonies of how students saw God move over the Winter Break – including through the Home-Bound Challenge.
You can include whatever goals God leads you to, but here are some ready for cut-and-paste:
- Discuss how you’ve grown spiritually this semester with at least one family member.
- Take one whole day alone with Jesus.
- Hang out with one person from high school that you need to reconnect with.
- Read one book of the Bible you’ve never read before.
- Plug in fully to your church – volunteering, attending, going to the college ministry – even if it’s not as “cool” as your church at college.
- Tell your parents how much you appreciate them.
- Pray regularly that God would make you the kind of student that glorifies Him best.
- Pray through your course schedule for next semester and discern whether God would have you change anything.
- Read one Christian book. (Ask me if you need ideas!)
- Take at least three days in a row to fully rest.
- Contact me (your college minister) at least once to let me know how things are going and how I can pray for you.
- Help your parents in some way that surprises them.
- Prayer walk a college campus in or near your town, even if it’s not the school you go to.
- Pray for our college ministry every day (and write down anything God shows you).
- Pray for your upcoming professors. By name.
- Think up ways to serve your upcoming professors.
- Pray through your areas of campus involvement. What needs to change?
- Pray through your college ministry involvement. What needs to change?
- Go through your closets at home and donate things you know you don’t need anymore.
- Keep doing the spiritual habits you’ve developed at college – don’t skip once, or it’ll be hard to keep the habit all Break.
- Call your closest friends regularly, and keep each other on track spiritually.
- Connect with Christian youth in your town (or even their parents), and help them think about preparing for college.