forget students, graduating seniors, ministry to college students, youth ministry

Don’t Forget Abby!

By Cheryl Franklin Baertschi August 10, 2017

Several years ago we were attending a youth conference in KC with a group of our students. Several of us had boarded the shuttle bus to take us from the hotel to the convention center, and I looked around and counted heads as the bus took off.  And then it hit me….we left Abby asleep at the hotel!  We were supposed to wake her up before we headed over to the convention center, but we forgot.  Ooops!  I quickly called one of the other leaders to knock on her door and bring her with the next group.  Whew….crisis averted.

“Take some time over the next few months to do a couple of things for your recently graduated seniors.”

In case you’re concerned, don’t worry; I have not lost another student since!  Abby is headed off to college on Friday, and it brings to mind an important lesson: “Don’t forget Abby!”  What I mean by that is don’t forget about those students who are headed off to college. Even as a new group of high school students is entering your ministry, take some time over the next few months to do a couple of things for your recently graduated seniors:

  1. Send a note to them at college in the first 2 weeks.

  2. Pray for them to get connected with a Christian organization, church and to make good friends.

  3. Follow up and see if they have attended church.  Help them find local places to worship or on campus Christian organizations.

  4. Call them in the first 6 weeks of being at college.

  5. Send one care package their first semester. You could even have the rest of your small group write some encouragement notes to include.

Don’t forget that this is a critical transitional time for students.  They’re leaving their church home and entering into a time filled with many changes. They will need to find a new place to worship, develop a new set of friends, and adjust to the demands of being a college student.  This time can be scary, exciting and overwhelming.  But the statistics tell us the sobering fact that this is when we are losing many of our kids that have grown up in the church.  So, it is no time to abandon them.  I encourage you to follow through a little bit longer with your graduated Seniors.  Don’t forget Abby!

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About the Author

Cheryl Franklin Baertschi

Cheryl Franklin Baertschi and her husband live in Carmel, Indiana and have raised 4 boys. After their youngest left the nest 6 years ago, she decided to fill the quiet house with high school and college age girls that she could encourage, mentor and disciple. She continues to learn daily from them.