Posted: 8/24/16 at 9:35am. Article by Darrell Cook.
With the Olympic games behind us and a new academic year in front of us, here are a few thoughts for youth ministers to help their graduated students make a smooth transition into college:
Intentionally pass the baton well. Find a partner near the campus to invite into the spiritual investment and encouragement for your youth. Virginia Baptists have strong Baptist Collegiate Ministries and some great options of local BGAV churches where people are ready to build on the strong foundation that you have been part of developing.
Plan a visit to the campus. During the first fall that your youth is on campus, visit and take him or her to lunch. Some freshmen have an easy time admitting they are lonely as they adjust, while a large number of them are lonely and have a harder time admitting it. Whatever the case, a friendly face from home visiting and reminding them what is important can be a key moment of encouragement in the first fall.
Encourage them to join a church in their college town. Some students feel like they are being disloyal to their local church if they join a church in their college town. As a mentor and friend, you can help them establish a pattern in life – whatever the new surroundings, a priority is to explore the local Body of Christ and find out where to dive in. If they operate with that mentality now, they are more likely to do so again when they graduate.
Darrell Cook is the Baptist Collegiate Minister at Virginia Tech.