My wife and I are in the middle of moving, which has reminded me just how much I hate upheaval. But it’s a common part of life – just one that’s uncommon for the person experiencing it.

Your students face upheaval, too, but the nature of college ministry may mean you’re not in touch with what they’re facing. This is all the more true in the summer break. And the functions that do connect with them on a more intimate level – like small groups – may peter out in May and not rev up until September… leaving a good four months for students to face things rather alone (potentially).

Of course, there are lots of ways to address this – including making small groups work a little more perpetually. But since the dawn of a new school year is upon us, my push today is simply to find out how your students are doing as they enter the new school year. Get people on your staff or within your student leadership to make sure every student is “accounted for,” and that anyone coming back to a hard new situation OR having faced toughness over the summer is known, encouraged, and loved.

Many of your students won’t be facing trials right now. But for those in the midst of upheaval, the early touchpoint will be enormous.