Earlier this week I noted that now is the time to start thinking about how you use Finals Week and Winter Break as opportunities within your ministry. The last of that October trifecta is considering the opportunity of Next Semester.

In certain ways, it’s easy to overlook the spring semester (or Winter and Spring quarters for those on that system). Sure, it may be the time college ministries ramp up for a mission trip or heavily push a summer assignment of some sort. But there are other ways we overlook its usefulness:

By forgetting it’s a great time to recruit. There are plenty of students on your campus who will “reboot” their lives for the new semester. Others will transfer in, return from study abroad, etc.. Others who found a home in one ministry last semester won’t have found a “fit.” Your ministry may be great for any of these groups… if they can find it!

By not rethinking / re-praying / re-planning for the new semester. Far too often we plan out a whole year of college ministry. Can you really say that your observations, calculations, and prayerful strategizing for January was on-target last July? It’s far better to let much of next semester be planned based on the results of this semester.

By not bringing in fresh leaders. This won’t be for every ministry, but too often we “default” to using student leaders from August to May. January might be a great time for some fresh leaders, though. They can either replace outgoing leaders, begin to serve alongside (or apprentice under) present leaders, or help with newly formed ministries / ministry teams. Another important aspect: This means qualified students don’t have to wait a full year to take the step of leadership.

You could start working on any of these three efforts now, or soon. Any of them look good?