Feb 15, 2016


Faithfulness in the Spring Slump

Neil Reynolds writes about how the spring slump can provide a pivotal time for you to model and teach your students about faithfulness.

In our ministry, the fall semester is always exciting. Whatever the fall has, in terms of excitement, the pendulum swings to the opposite extreme in the spring. The fall semester has a sense of buzz and excitement. The spring semester just doesn’t.

This is something I don’t completely understand. I don’t get why our large group gathering attendance fluctuates. I don’t get why there’s less interest in our discipleship groups. I don’t get why our leadership team is less engaged. I don’t get it.

Here’s what I do know: this dip is going to happen every year. I don’t understand it. But, I can’t deny it. It’s why I believe…

Faithfulness is the most important principle to model and teach in the spring semester.

There are two important ways I approach this…

1. I try to model faithfulness in everything I do.

As the leader, I know I set the tone for everyone else in our ministry. If I begin to cut corners, so will the people around me. If I’m not as diligent in the spring semester as I am in the fall, the people around me won’t be as diligent.

Here’s the bottom line: my faithfulness as a leader can’t be tied to anything external.

When things are exciting…my goal is to be faithful.

When things are boring…my goal is to be faithful.

My goal is to be faithful in all things at all times.

My level of passion and diligence can’t be tied to the students. If it was, I’d be up and down all the time. We’ve received a calling from God to do — what I believe is — the most important work in the world. Let’s be faithful in everything we do.

2. I talk to my students about faithfulness.

We all want to finish well. Think about these words from the apostle Paul…

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:7-8

That’s what we all want to say at the end of our lives. Teaching students to finish the spring semester well — being faithful when it’s hard — is great training and preparation for finishing well in life…all of life.

Our students are setting patterns for how they’ll live for the rest of their lives. If we can teach them to be faithful to the end of the spring semester, we’ve given them training and preparation for being faithful to the end as a disciple, spouse, parent, and employee.

The spring semester presents incredible learning opportunities for our students. First, let’s model faithfulness. Then, let’s look for opportunities to teach our students to finish well. If we can show and teach our students how to be faithful, we’ll give them an incredible gift that they’ll carry with them forever.

What principle or concept do you think is important to focus on in the spring semester?

Get the conversation started by leaving a comment below.

about the author

Neil Reynolds

Neil is a campus minister with CCSC at Arkansas Tech. He lives in Russellville, AR with his wife Katie and their two daughters.