brainstorming for the breaks to come

Yesterday, I posted many of the reasons Thanksgiving Break could be really important to prepare students for. And many of those reasons apply to Christmas Break, too. These two experiences are two of your students upcoming “hinge moments.”

So today, I just wanted to brainstorm “out loud” about ways you might teach, disciple, and otherwise prepare students for these times. Do what fits your purposes best, but I hope you’ll at least consider preparing students for the holiday Breaks.

Teaching / training areas

  • Evangelism (with a special emphasis on family members and “old friends”)
  • Honoring your parents
  • Spiritual Disciplines
  • Fighting Temptations (especially those brought on by being “back home”)
  • Rest
  • Decision-making (since, as noted yesterday, these are excellent times to ponder the semester / summer ahead)

Methods

  • Message(s): Of course, you can always teach such things in a Large Group Meeting message or short series.
  • Small groups: Use your present small group structure to talk through yesterday’s issues and/or the topics above
  • Training devotionals via email or blog: In the week(s) leading up to either Break, what if you hit some of the above areas in a written format?
  • Ongoing devotionals during the Breaks: Likewise, ongoing contact with students (especially over Christmas Break) could be phenomenal. Students could even contribute both teaching and testimonies of how God is using them during their Breaks.
  • Booklet: Instead of (or along with) an ongoing devotional, you could produce a “Quiet Time Guide” or other resource students could take home with them.
  • Establishing in-break Community: Small groups shouldn’t end at the threshold of Christmas break. Either your present groups or only-for-the-Break groups should be (remotely) providing accountability, encouragement, etc., for students while they’re away from school.
  • Online Community: While less “organic” attempts at community may be necessary for students to actually use them mid-break, supplementing on Facebook, a blog, or an email list could be great.
  • Personal connections: You, your staff, and your student leaders could certainly reach out to students personally during the breaks. A call on the Friday after Thanksgiving or periodic emails during Winter Break, for instance, could be more important and timely than you realize…

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  1. Pingback: daily devo-ing the winter break (a fridea) « Exploring College Ministry blog (daily notes about our field)

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