1. What are the names of the church members who graduated from high school last June?
2. Do you have a separate list (apart from their families) for each one, with a current school or home address in your church file?
3. Do they all receive the church newsletter?
4. If you have 7 names or less, plan to visit, telephone, or write a personal note to each one during the coming week. Make a note to do this again in 6 months. (If you have more than 7 names, skip to #8 below.)
5. Next month, repeat steps 1-4 for church members who graduated from high school two years ago. In the following month cover the preceding year, and so on, until the last four years have been covered. In the 5th month, make a list of all the older members of the congregation who are involved in continuing education and call or visit them.
6. Identify the high school seniors in your church. Plan to meet with them at least twice in the fall and winter of their senior year. Use this time to listen to them talk about their plans after graduation.
7. Keep a small notebook or file folder on your student ministry, and at a convenient time, briefly report to your church leaders on your activities and concerns in this area. You might also be able to use some of the suggestions under #9 below.
8. If you have more than 7 names on your list, find some people to help with doing the suggestions noted in number 4 above. You might present this to your next church council meeting.
Make a list of the names and current addresses of all high school graduates for the past 4 years.
Contact all persons on the list by phone to find out where they are and what they are doing.
Announce the project to the church and solicit the names of any persons you might have missed.
At some point, make a list of the older students in your congregation and solicit their help.
With the help of your youth leaders, identify the high school seniors in your church. Plan to meet with them at least twice in the fall and winter of their senior year. Use this time to listen to them talk about their plans after graduation.
9. Some possible next steps for you and your committee are:
Make sure that all high school graduates receive the church newsletter.
Take a map of North America and put in colored pins to indicate where students from your church are living. Hang it where church members will see it frequently.
With the help of students residing in the area, plan an event, such as a Christmas Party, a retreat in late spring, or a barbecue in August. Invite everyone on your list, first with a mailed notice, then with a personal phone call.
The next time your church has a special event, such as homecoming, Christmas musical or church supper, make sure that everyone on your list receives a special invitation. Have a person from your church greet them.
Invite those students in the local area to take an active role in worship services--reading scripture, ushering, etc.
In consultation with your Sunday School Director and Discipleship Training Director, consider establishing classes for students. Resources and leadership training are available from the Baptist State Convention.
Christmas holidays are an excellent time to invite students to lead a worship service. Suggestions and resources are available from the Campus Ministry Team.
Call or write campus ministers where your students are enrolled, and give them the names and addresses of your students.
Consider inviting students from your church to attend with you the North Carolina Baptist Student Conference (FC) meeting. It is usually held the last weekend in September. Further information is available from the Campus Ministry Team.
Plan to have every student or young adult in the local area visited at least once a year by the pastor or a lay visitor.
Give the names of your students to different Sunday School classes and ask each class to pray for that student each week.
Contributed by Joe Clontz, Former Student Ministry Consultant, Baptist State Convention of North Carolina