I don’t know what your plans are for teaching and other discipleship activities this semester, but I wanted to encourage you with a principle that college ministers need to remember (but we’re always going to be tempted to forget):
Some of the best things we can offer today’s students are the things we offered yesterday’s students.
I know it might seem more normal to encourage us not to take the easy, lazy route of relying on past efforts for present students. And in some cases, that really is the lazy route. Innovation is important. Constant tweaking of our ministries for better impact is important. Keeping current with our students and their needs is important.
But the point of today’s principle is to remind us that there are some “tried and true” methods – whether it’s teaching topics, discipleship tools, small group materials, or even conferences – that we personally may be worn out on… but that this year’s students haven’t benefited from yet.
The nature of college ministry is in some sense cyclical. If we’re focused on always trying to be “fresh” and “new” simply because we don’t want to repeat ourselves, we might be discounting some of the very methods God wants to use. Just because you’ve personally been to Passion conferences a zillion times or taught freshmen how to have a Quiet Time each year for the past ten doesn’t mean that the students in front of you won’t be just as impacted.
Don’t grow weary with the best stuff you teach or the best stuff you do. This year’s students might need the exact same things!