I feel like I mention something along these lines just about every year. But one of the most unique things about the field of college ministry, when you really think about it, is that there’s a 3-month “off-season” period each year.
I do realize that many college ministers are ministering during that time, too – or they might be doing the important work of support-raising, which is ministry, too. But for most college students, at least, summer is a period away from their usual shepherding. And it’s a season when even their normal task of being a student is on hiatus.
So right now, a quarter of their lives is being affected by how well they spend those summers.
Or look at it this way: students in your college ministry have three attempts to practice lordship in a particularly intense, habit-building way. Want to produce Christians who follow Christ hard? It seems like a three-month internship, three times during their college career, could be an unbelievable opportunity to prepare for that.
Each summer, many of your students have “room”: room to be discipled (or to intentionally “disciple themselves”), a chance to bring their (much more flexible) schedule under the direction of God, an opportunity to seek God in special ways, and more. And if they are working jobs or spending extra time with family, it’s a good chance to learn about lordship in those environments, too. They’ll need it for the rest of their lives.
So we’ve got two questions staring us in the face:
- How well are our students prepared for that chance this summer?
- What am I doing about it?