Jan 26, 2015


Your Students WILL Leave. Be Ready.

George Jacobus, College Minister at Central Baptist Church (College Station, TX), helps you prepare for the inescapable truth that your students will leave.

There is a hard truth we all must learn in college ministry. Students always leave! Now, I’m not talking about the flakiness of college students that leads them to leave your ministry and go to another one (even though that often happens). I’m talking about the student that spends two, three, or four years in your ministry and then graduates.

At the end of every semester we stand up and circle around the graduating students to pray for their transition to the next phase of their life. As we are praying for them I always think, “Are these students ready? Have we given them enough to succeed in their next phase of life?”

So what can we do as college pastors to prepare students to leave our ministry?

Know that it starts when they first walk into your ministry.

In a perfect world you will have four years with the students. But in reality that rarely happens because students often do not commit to a place for months or even years. Several years ago I sat down with some of our adult leaders to talk about things that students need to know in order to leave well. We came up with a list of about 30 things. While I’m preparing my lessons each week I have that list out so I can illustrate points with those topics. Sometimes we will have “Equip Nights” where we address certain topics from a biblical perspective. We have talked about dating, sharing your faith, discipleship, and other topics that students need to know from a biblical world view.

Challenge them to go on a mission trip during their college career.

Nothing does more good for a student or a ministry than having students go on a mission trip. God uses the student to bring the Gospel to the area they are serving but also changes the student’s perspective when they return. A student that sees their workplace as a mission field will have a huge impact for the Lord. That perspective is born on a mission trip.

Help them find a mentor.

I will never be able to address every topic and nuance that a graduating student will face. They will be much better prepared if they can find a mentor. Then, they will be poised to get wisdom for whatever comes their way, especially when the relationship continues post-college.

These are just a few of the things George does at his church. What else can be done to prepare students for life after college?

about the author

George Jacobus

George is the College Minister at Central Baptist Church, College Station, Texas.