In this “Adding to Their Zeal” series, I’m looking at ways we can help students round out their passion and energy with wisdom…

One of the aspects of collegians that college ministers often notice is that they like the idea of impact sometimes much more than they like actually impacting. Hitting “Like” on Facebook, wearing a cause-oriented T-shirt, studying apologetics, waxing philosophical about… well, anything: These perfectly good (but passive) activities can scratch the itch of “wanting to do something,” even if the actual impact is minimal.

So one way for us to add to students’ zeal is simply to help them realize that action is still required, and sometimes it’s the only thing that will really make a difference. Sure, there are times donations accomplish much – in fact, sometimes more. And spreading the word with friends about a cause can be really powerful, as can “sharpening the ax” through training to prepare us to impact.

But sometimes we just have to work. And we have to be communicating that to students.