This year, I’ve put together a series called “One Step Forward,” discussing areas it would be especially valuable to advance this year. But last year around this time, I put forward one of my favorite series ever, “What You Do in Week Two.”

I explained the emphasis in the introduction:

I’ll be looking at several practical ways you can maximize the entire semester with what you do in weeks 2, 3, and 4. If we’re going to be the best college ministers we can be, we can’t just focus on the START, but also on how we follow up that Start with some important work.

I argued that our work AFTER the start says a lot about us:

It seems to be a common temptation among college ministers to focus on running plays instead of actually shepherding. … Shepherds (of real sheep or of real people) are required to “note the condition of their flocks.” They have to think about not simply the needs of the year but the needs of the week. They have to recognize that some sheep are different from other sheep, that some days are different from other days, and that this whole process has to be rather “messy.” …

I think what we do in Week 2 of our semesters (and Week 3 and Week 4) says a lot about where we are on this running-plays-versus-shepherding spectrum.

  • Are we evaluating how our best-laid plans actually seem to be working out? [“Quality Control”]

  • Are we adjusting to the new, unforeseen realities on our campus?

  • Have we begun processing what this year’s crop of freshmen means to our ministry, now that we’re meeting them face to face?

So for the long Labor Day weekend, I wanted to point us all back to those posts. I encourage you to take a look and think about how you’ll march forward in the weeks to come! All in all, there are 9 suggestions in 7 posts:

Or see them all here!