We’re coming up to the end of the school year and it’s tempting for students to want to slow down, to just finish the school year and be done. I think this applies to junior high and high school students and college students as well. There is a temptation as a small group leader to just coast your group to the finish line. So much is at stake here and I could list out about a million reasons why you don’t want to do that but the most important one is the message we are sending to students. The message that gets sent is this: I’m strong in my faith but there are times its okay to just slow down and take my faith for granted.
I want to finish the school year strong. I want to know that students in my group are making some major steps in their spiritual life and that they are continuing to grow. I don’t want them to think its okay to build this great relationship with Jesus during the school year and then during the summer I just kind of put Jesus in the background and I’ll get back to him in September. If you have eight graders about to make the transition to high school or high school seniors about to head off to college you really need to make sure you’re doing everything you can to transition them off to the next stage of their life. I’m going to blog more about that later this week but for today I wanted to list some things to help your students finish the school year:
- Consider meeting over the summer. Traditionally student small groups stop meeting during the summer. People go on vacation, and there are a lot of distractions but I still meet during the summer. I know that not every student will be there each week but at least they have an option.
- Keep in contact with them over the summer. Text them, have lunch with them; do a movie day or a beach day.
- If you have students who are struggling in a particular area keep holding them accountable and make sure they are keeping in contact with their accountability partners. Keep encouraging them over the summer.
- If your church has a summer camp, encourage your students to go. I can’t say enough about camp. This will be my fifth year as a camp leader and I’ve seen so many students have a life changing experience at camp.