I’ve argued time and time again that college ministry is best understood as a form of missions; our closest companions in the world of Christian ministry are foreign missionaries, not youth ministers or young adult ministers.

If that’s true (and I really, really believe it is), it means we should be thinking about events like Thanksgiving like a missionary would. And Thanksgiving is indeed an “event” for your campus tribe. At the very least, a lot of students are going home – that’s an event. And that going-home is a precursor to their longer times with family in December… for some, that’s a fun thing to do, but for others, it’s a dreaded period. What are you doing to prepare them?

Other students will stick around campus. Possibly feeling sorry for themselves. What are you doing for them?

And that leads to probably the most common campus ministry effort around Thanksgiving: efforts to love International Students in this time. Many of the International Students within your world are “stuck” at campus, stuck far away from home, and curious about American traditions.

It’s not too late to do something cool for Thanksgiving, even if it’s just you – or you and your family – tying into something the school or city is doing. But there’s also room to do something with students before many of them leave. And there’s always the chance to plan – purposefully – for next year.

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