Well, for most of us, the new school year has officially begun!
I hope you are off to a good start!
I like to start every month by brainstorming, with you, how we can best make use of the month ahead… So, here are some of my ideas about how we can best make use of the month of September on campus:
Invest in relationships — This is the time of year when students are MOST open to new relationships. I firmly believe that there is nothing better we can do with our time than to invest in the lives of students through establishing, or deepening, or relationships with them.
Invest in student leaders — While investing in relationships with ALL students is incredibly important, investing in the lives of our student leaders is of utmost importance! These are the students we will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with, in ministry, throughout the year. We need to know them — and they need to know us.
Establish a good rhythm — As students are settling into their schedules, it is important that we do the same. Key to our success each semester is finding a ‘sustainable’ rhythm to our work. We must always be reminded that our ministry efforts are much more like marathons than they are sprints — we need to pace ourselves appropriately!
Back-to-school events — The month of September is a great time to host ‘community building’ events! As students are adjusting to being back on campus (and have not yet settled into their social schedules), providing time and space for students to come together — just for the sake of being together — is something significant we can offer them. There are SO many ways this can look… and we don’t have to necessarily create every opportunity — we can simply offer students a meeting place, and a group to be a part of, in attending our (or someone else’s) event on campus. The sky’s the limit, so be creative!
Student leader retreat — Consider taking time to get away from campus with your student leaders during this month. The new year will quickly be in full swing, and some strategic and timely time away might be the difference between a great or disastrous semester for our leaders.
Finalize the fall calendar — If there are any loose ends for your plans this semester, now’s the time to shore them up!
Begin to prepare for the spring — If you’ve not yet started to think about next semester, there’s no time like the present to begin. The more advanced planning we can engage in, the more opportunities and possibilities there are that can seriously be considered.
Catalyst Conference — Finally, if you’re considering some form of professional development for the fall, might I suggest you give serious consideration the Catalyst conference happening in Atlanta, Oct. 3-5. It’s a huge gathering that draws together Christian leaders from all over the world, and the collection of speakers and break-out leaders is second to none. It’s a little overwhelming for this introvert… but well worth it! It’s a great conference to bring students and/or student leaders to as well. I’ll be there! So if you’re planning to attend, please let me know, and maybe we can make plans to connect.
I know this list is not complete, so I’ll leave it up to you to fill in some of the gaps!
What are the opportunities you see on campus during the month of September?
And if you’re looking for more ideas to help populate your ministry calendar, check out my FREE eResource: The College Ministry Year: 12 Months of Ideas!