Finishing Strong

Most of us really only have just a few weeks left in the campus year. I thought it would be helpful to do something on ending the year well. From my vantage point, I get lots of email with lots of great ideas. One that I am copied on each week is from John and Melissa Mitchell’s team in the NorthEast to the student and volunteer leaders on their many campuses. Their coaching nuggets are consistently practical and timely. One, by Jon Ayers when he was on their team, had some timely advice on finishing strong.

Spring is here! Fun, love and frisbees are in the air and maybe your head is in the clouds. Some of us certainly know ailments like spring fever and senioritis. We hope you’re enjoying the weather and extended sunlight, but we want to help you be successful in ending this semester well. Here are a few important suggestions:

  • Is there a good friend that you won’t see over the summer? What’s stopping you from saying, “Hey – our friendship means a lot to me, I’m wondering if I can share something with you that has changed my life?” Share the Knowing God Personally book with them.
  • Enter the Squadroom: http://www.godsquad.com/. The front page offers AWESOME suggestions for ending well. [The April Roadmap has a week by week list of suggestions.]
  • How can the group stay in contact over the summer? Collect contact information from students (AIM names, emails, phone #s and addresses).
  • Prep for next fall: Is there paperwork you need to file for club status for the fall? Elections to be held? Can you reserve a meeting room now for next year?
  • Make sure that officers are selected for next year so the ministry can continue. Reserve rooms now for next semester if possible. Arrange to meet together as a leadership team to continue planning for the first six weeks of the fall.
  • Acknowledge people’s hard work. Recognize graduating seniors – pray for them and commision them to their workplaces/ministry sites. Show your appreciation for faculty advisors and anyone else who’s contributed to your efforts on campus.
  • End the year with a BANG. Have a prayer and praise night or end of the semester party. Give thanks to God for the things He has done this semester. Have students take turns sharing their year’s experiences and thoughts. This stuff doesn’t need to be heavy on prep work – delegate tasks to next year’s officers and make sure you have a room and some food.

“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14

No matter where your ministry is in the growth process, it’s not too late to create momentum that will carry your students into a great summer vacation and fall semester. As always, thanks so much for your hard work in making the love of Jesus known at your school! The end is in sight, its a great time to finish well.

As Jon mentioned ending the year with a bang, I was reminded how one of the highlights of our years on campus was the sharing we did at the last meeting of the year. We read portions of Joshua 4. Then we would ask a fairly general question about what God had done in their lives this year. As students came to the front to share how God worked, they pulled a rock out of a bucket and placed it on a pile on the table. As the pile grew, it became a monument to the work God did in our lives and ministry. Let us end strong and celebrate well.

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