It's that time of year. Back to school. Back to campus. For most of us, it is a hectic time of year. And sometimes it catches us a little by surprise. So, here are a few reminders that might help you "get set" for this new school year in your ministry.
On your mark.
Know who you are and what your goal will be this year in your ministry to college students. It doesn't have to be complicated. Even in a smaller church, having a plan for your ministry is important. What might your focus be this year? Do you want to call students to deeper discipleship this year? Develop leaders? Be on mission in your community? Reach out to those students in your community that aren't connected to a church? Let your current students be a part of deciding what your focus will be this year and go for it.
Take advantage of the new school year to "start well" or to "restart." Contact your local BSM Directors (see the Campus Directory on this site) to meet new students on local campuses and invite them to church. Call or visit students who are on your roll but you haven't seen in a while. New college freshmen often need a personal invite to help them connect with the college ministry. Host welcome events or activities to help students get acquainted or reconnect after a busy summer. Kick off a new Bible study.
Maybe you've already welcomed the new freshmen into your college group this summer, and they have been great additions to your group. Maybe you've been their youth minister for the last six years. Now they are leaving for UT, Tech or SFA. You really want to hang on to them, but you need to let them go. Encourage them to find a new church near campus. Help them connect with a local church college ministry leader. Contact the BSM Director where they will be. Challenge them to continue to grow in their faith, and bless them as they leave. Stay connected enough to encourage, but be sure they feel free to grow in their new surroundings.
It's a new school year. Take the opportunity to have a fresh start and a new perspective. Who knows what God has in store for your ministry this year? Ask Him to make you ready.
"For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." -Ephesians 2:10 NIV
Need help getting something started this year? Bible study ideas? Leadership resources? Developing new ministry strategy? Let us know how we can help your church. Contact Ginger Bowman, Church College Ministry Specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org.