When I describe to pastors how the transition from high school to college seems to most students, I show them a picture of a pretty scary bridge.
But the truth is, many of our college students face a similarly scary bridge every single summer (and kinda during Winter Break, as well). They head into Summer Break away from the college ministry that has been so impactful and the friends that have nurtured them and held them accountable to the Lord.
So the question is: What are you doing to help bridge your students to spiritual success this summer?
I mean the students who aren’t going on a Summer Project with you, aren’t working at some Christian Camp, aren’t heading to three months of missions overseas, aren’t sticking around (if you have ministry in the summer). For many (likely most) of your students, their lives will be much more “normal” and much less “spiritually routine” – and therefore much more vulnerable to apathy, backsliding, or outright desertion from the godliness they’ve found easily habitual in their present environment.
What have you done to prepare them to pursue godliness and to get impacted by other Christians while they’re home?
How have you encouraged them to stay the course – not simply to “avoid falling” but to grow as much in these three months as they have in the last three?
What have you done to excite them about plugging back into their home church, discipling youth or younger college students, loving their families, studying their Bibles, and praying about their involvement when they return?
As their college minister, you are likely these students’ main (human) shepherd now. Yep, the sheep are roaming out a ways from their normal habitat. But you’re still their main shepherd. How have you prepared them for the sojourn?
You’ve got time. Even if they’re already gone for the summer, email, phone calls, and even mail can be beautiful things. This has to matter to us… right?