It’s summertime, so for many of us, that means fewer opportunities to teach our college students. Hopefully you’re able to fill the time NOT spent preparing for messages doing all sorts of other valuable things.
But since Frideas are a chance to think about ways to improve our campus ministries, I figured I’d throw an idea out there that could actually help those messages improve when the New School Year rolls around. (And it wouldn’t be bad for your own Jesus-walk, either, I imagine!)
The idea? Spend some time studying some of your go-to topics or passages anew, or a little more deeply.
We all have favorite passages and favorite topics, areas where God has uniquely impacted us and/or places we simply recognize students REALLY need to address. Over and over, even.
So when’s the last time you “freshened” those ideas in your own mind? Is it possible God wants to provide you with new insights about old insights? Or that He might even want to recaptivate you with those truths, all over again? Sure it is!
A confession, to get you going: For years, I pointed to Revelation 3 to decry “lukewarm Christians,” pointing out (as so many do) that God would rather us be “on fire” for Him or cold to Him than be “halfway.” Problem is, that’s not what the letter to Laodicea means there. And any good commentary will generally point that out; fortunately, I finally read one. The true meanings of “hot,” “cold,” and “lukewarm” are quite a bit more helpful for ministry, in my opinion, and the other interesting facets of that section are pretty great, too.
So what could a little “summer re-study” look like?
- Taking a commentary or two and diving more deeply into a book of the Bible than you ever have before. (I did this a few years ago with Job, and my understandings of compassion, apologetics, and not-leaning-on-my-own-understanding have never been the same… And I would have said I “knew” that book before.)
- Likewise, mulling over your favorite or go-to Bible passages. It’s possible you’ve forgotten some important points… or that God wants to take you even deeper! Even new translations may be helpful in better understanding those old standbys.
- Same thing, with go-to topics: Dating. Apologetics. Being academically faithful. “Hot Topics” of different varieties. Spiritual Disciplines. Besides your own Scripture study, it’d be good to learn what Christians have been writing and thinking on these things in the past few years!
- BONUS IDEA: Getting to know your students better. I fear plenty of college ministers are still ministering to Generation Xers… sadly, none of them are actually in our ministries anymore! You might need to refresh yourself on your audience – and the summer’s a great time to do that.