Our congregation is not located near a college or university.
However, we have members who are college-age students that grew up in our church, but they are away at college during the school year.
a. Pray and Connect – By name and let them know that they are being prayed for by keeping in contact with Facebook or e-mail. This may be done by:
- Youth pastors – They know these students best, and an occasional word of encouragement from home means a great deal. This could be included as an expectation in the youth pastor’s job description.
- Adopt-A-Student – Recruit congregation members to adopt a student with a commitment to pray for them during their college years.
- Mentorship – Develop a mentorship program to equip and resource adults to mentor students starting as seniors in high school and continuing through college and beyond. This is a bit more commitment then Adopt-A-Student, so think through ways to train and provide materials to those willing to mentor.
b. Pastoral Visit – If a significant number of your students attend a particular college or university, consider making a pastoral call to their campus. Let your students know you are coming – share a meal or latte . If your students participate in a particular parachurch organization (CCO, Navigators, Cru, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship), you might consider seeking an opportunity to speak at the ministry’s large group meeting.
c. Congregation Mission Trips – Let your students know of mission trips planned for the summer, and find a way for them to become a member of the team even though they may be away at school when many of the pre-trip meetings and training sessions are taking place.
d. World Outreach Opportunities – Make them aware of World Outreach opportunities, and ask your missions committee to consider supporting their participation in summer mission programs and special conferences, such as Urbana.
e. Summer Ministry – If you have a large number of students returning to your congregation during the summer, consider developing a summer ministry to them. Information on how to get started may be found here.