What will you do to help students plan for growth and impact this summer? They’re looking at three whole months that could – for many of them – provide amazing chances to walk with the Lord in spiritual progress and ministry.

But planning for it makes it quite a bit more likely.

It may start with simply having students prepare a list of goals for the summer. That sounds simple enough, but getting them to think and pray it through is key. Maybe after they do, they can share the list with others (which might give students some new ideas, too). Or even establish a little accountability with a friend, with a staff member, and/or by writing themselves a letter that you send them midway through the summer.

And the list may not just involve spiritual growth aims (reading the Bible, memorizing verses, reading Christian books, etc.). It should also include ministry aims – people they hope to have spiritual conversations with, ways to get involved at their church, people they need to serve, even people from their past they need to share with, resolve conflict with, or disciple.

But if I was doing this (and had the time), I might go a little deeper. Maybe teach a lesson on planning for spiritual growth and goal-setting, either in our normal meeting or in a special half-day pre-summer teaching time (like on a Saturday morning or a Sunday afternoon).

There are also ways to build this into a ministry-wide thing. Maybe a book club, and you can discuss a book every few weeks through a Google Hangout or chatting or in-person (depending on your situation). Similarly, a Bible-reading plan or simply an occasional update-and-pray-for-each-other chat would allow students to encourage each other continue growing.

Even if students do go away for the summer, that doesn’t mean you couldn’t have a mid-summer party, and checking up on their growth and impact could be one goal!