Here’s a Fridea I first mentioned in October 2013, as I was preparing to participate in my church’s version of this. Our “Training Day” is for the entire body, but a college ministry – or potentially even multiple college ministries! – could do this for students. And if you wanted to put something like this together, Winter Break is a great time to think about it.
Students like choices. And they like going “deep.”
Our church’s quarterly presents a Saturday morning with four “elective” offerings – anyone who signed up can choose to learn about something (the topics that day were the Book of Job, Singleness, Discipleship, Soteriology, and using Social Media for Christ).
Sometimes we assume students – who sit in class all week – wouldn’t want to sit through more straight teaching. But I think we might be over-assuming for a few reasons:
- The fact that they sit through teaching in other venues means, at the very least, it’s habit.
- This would be a chance for them to pick something they want to learn about and are more interested in – the comparison puts our electives in a positive light.
- This aren’t just “lectures”; they can include plenty of interactive elements.
- As I say above, students like choices – and they don’t mind a good chance to explore a topic in-depth.
What if you held something like this once a semester? Of course, you could make it shorter or offer fewer choices (or no choices) or just try it once and see how it goes.
Ultimately, though, this gives you all sorts of chances:
- to offer deep teaching on important topics or use narrow topics (like a book of the Bible) to give practice in broader topics (like biblical interpretation)
- to invite students from outside your ministry
- to allow some adult volunteers, student leaders, local church leaders, or even out-of-town speakers to teach
- to help local or regional Christian leaders see what you’re building on campus
- to dive into special topics that you (or students) would love to cover but can’t in other venues
- to jump-start the interest and teaching foundation in a topic that you know you’ll be hitting in semesters to come