be thankful for the deadlines

The rhythm of collegiate ministry is an interesting thing – hardly comparable to any other form of ministry. Even youth ministry, which does have to account for the school year, tends to have a continuing flock during the summer – as well as a steadier roster (because of the influence of parents).

College ministry’s unique rhythm, among other things, carries with it natural deadlines – particularly that yearly one called The Start of School in August or September. Perhaps the second most dramatic deadline is in May. And don’t forget the “shepherding deadline” for each student before he or she graduates.

These deadlines (hopefully) work for you, not against you. You’re forced to prioritize and push when asking things like,

  • What improvements will we make for the upcoming school year?
  • Are our recruiting materials ready?
  • What are the most important themes to teach before summer?
  • How will I prepare them for summer?
  • How will I prepare them for life beyond college?
  • What leaders will serve with us in the new school year?

And on and on.

I know these deadlines can feel like a scourge sometimes. But their presence forces, as I said, prioritization. And prayer. And practicality. And all those things are fantastic for moving along, improving year after year, “making the most of every opportunity,” “numbering our days.”

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