Occasionally I’ve pointed out that Thanksgiving Break serves as an awesome warm-up for the looming Christmas break. Most of your students likely go home for just long enough to remember/realize what they’ll face when they go home for five-ish weeks in December.
But the same is true for Easter. Though not all students likely went home, I bet plenty did. And now, Summer Break is right around the corner.
One of the less-apparent but most valuable roles a college minister (or student leaders) can play this time of year is helping students intentionally prepare for the summer. Specifically…
- How will they continue to grow in the Lord, not simply coast?
- How will they respond to and minister to old friends?
- How will they avoid old temptations?
- How encouraging or discouraging do their family dynamics tend to be… and how will they respond there?
- If they have a job, how will they work “as unto the Lord”?
I’m not sure this happened much when I was in college. While I remember offering prayer requests in small group settings, I don”t remember anyone helping me process the summer ahead – identifying the opportunities, identifying the challenges, developing a plan, and organizing mentorship or accountability.
But you can do this for your students. If they’ve just spent time home at Easter, then it’s an easy discussion based on that “experiment.” But regardless, they can recall Christmas break and look ahead to summer. And they can prepare for what the Lord might want to do.