This week, I’ve been introducing campus ministry ideas that take the long view; instead of working week-to-week, they’re designed for a semester.

But while today’s blog post fits the theme, it won’t require a lot of effort between the first couple of weeks and the last week.

What’s the idea? Create a “spiritual time capsule” for your students.

In the early weeks of the semester, challenge each of your students to write a list of goals, write words of exhortation (to themselves), or otherwise memorialize their lives in January 2013 – and especially to write their goals for the semester. Announce that you’ll return the collection at the end of the semester. (So you might want to encourage them to save a copy of any “goals list.”)

Whether you just pass the notes back out in May or have students give you an actual letter to mail back to them, this can be powerful. Up front, it encourages realistic goal-setting that’s based on prayer, thought, and an honest look at one’s life. On the back end, it can be a powerful encouragement to steward each semester well.

Of course, you could provide a lot of cool teaching – in large groups or small – around this topic, as well!