Many of your campuses may be starting today; others started last week or will jump into the spring next week.

Whatever the case, your college ministry isn’t “just as you left it.”

The students have changed.

Their goals have changed.

Their schedules have definitely changed.

Weird stuff – both good and bad – happened to certain students over the break.

There will be new students. And certain past students won’t be part of your ministry anymore.

The campus itself has changed – in some imperceptible ways, but probably in ways you’ll see if you really choose to look.

It’s all a lot messier than we might hope. We didn’t have the same kind of contact over the break, the same kind of shepherding, the same opportunity to adjust “on the fly.” Nor was it as easy to get students to adjust to us, to our vision for our ministry to them. (Should we have been asking this anyway? Perhaps not, but either way, Christmas Break took the opportunity away from us.)

And now it’s messy. And we can choose to fight the messiness – shoehorning students into activities or roles that no longer fit them, delivering message series that were designed for a different group of students, holding events we planned way back in July 2012 (don’t tell me that doesn’t seem like a long time ago).

Or we can choose to work overtime to adjust to the messiness, dovetail with the new realities, meet students where they are… not where they were or where we wish they were.

If it’s a fact that our campuses and ministries will be different in some ways than in mid-December, then we simply need to ask: How am I either adjusting to the changes, discovering the changes, or planning to adjust to the changes? If we’re not actively adjusting…