College ministry rarely gets to jump into Christmas in the same way that churches do; even church-based college ministries don’t necessarily expect big crowds or much opportunity on-or-near December 25th.

But Thanksgiving is still a season we have, although most of our students won’t be around on the actual Thanksgiving Day (or the weekend that follows). What could you do this week, even if you haven’t planned something already?

  1. Last-minute service projects. Find out some ways to impact local ministries, and throw those ideas out to your students. Students often schedule last-minute anyway, so the fact that you haven’t brought it up may be no big deal… they may not even notice!
  2. Last-minute meals or other fun. Students who are here during the Thanksgiving weekend would probably be especially blessed by being offered a chance to get together – they’re likely bummed they can’t be home with family. This includes international students! If you’re going to be around, consider inviting students into your home, or find a place (like a local church or somewhere on campus) where you could hold a meal / games / football-watching / etc. day.
  3. Point to other orgs’ planned opportunities. What are the local churches (including your own) doing? Does the campus have any official plans? Do any local organizations have plans for this week? (You might be surprised what you can find.) Service projects? Serving meals to others? Holding festive meals for their own members (and potential student visitors)?

One more tip: Talk to administration (including the office that looks after International Students). Not only might they have ideas, they’ll likely love the fact that you’re serving students during this weird week.