College Ready, How Do You Handle Returning Students?

They’re back!  The college students are coming back and asking me, “What’s up?”  This is good because they feel that this church is home, it’s a place where they can reconnect, feel loved and encouraged.  This is bad because some of them are probably wondering, “Can I come to the high school program?” But then again it’s not so bad because they are looking to get connected once again, so how do we do that?
To be honest we haven’t really had a plan until now.  And this is what we look to do with the college students returning for the summer:

  • Get Them Into Ministry: Even though they are only around for 3-4 months they are still an active part of the church.  Take advantage of their free time and youthful energy.
  • Plug Them Into Small Group: I’m not suggesting you create college age curriculum, but try to plug them into what the adults are doing.  Maybe it’s a series from earlier in the year, or something your church is currently doing, just get them practicing fellowship so that they can bring that habit back to school.
  • Get Them Ready For The Next Year: For many of them their year in college was an emotional roller coaster.  Some of them are excited to go back, while others reluctant, despite where they are we need to get them ready for the road ahead.  The best way this can be done is by connecting them in relationships where an older man or woman can pour into them.

The best approach to college age students isn’t to create programs, but paths that will help them go from adolescence into adulthood.  While we are responsible for the young adults of our church we should be sure not to overprogram them; otherwise we’ll turn them into consumers.  Being an adult in the church is about contributing.

How do you deal with college age students?

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  • CJ says:

    At several churches I served we started an “Alumni Group.” We would get together on occcasion in the summer, have their own Christmas party and just generally seek to continue the relationships built over the years in the youth ministry. Completely agree that getting them INTO MINISTRY is key. Good stuff for all to consider, Chris!

  • CJ, I like the idea of the Alumni Group and the Christmas party. Sometimes it’s harder to get together on the short breaks.
    What are some other ideas people have when it comes to this age group?