It is that time of year. The academic year has concluded. Commencement has come and gone. Debriefing end of year events, evaluating the previous academic year, reviewing budgets, and celebrating the conclusion of another year are the norm. Faculty and ten-month staff are concluding their academic year objectives, and for the most part, the campus is quiet.
If you look carefully, deep into the eyes of faculty and staff, behind the weariness and obvious need for re-creation, you will see dreaming has begun. As an institution, Lynchburg College adopted our current strategic plan, Vision2020, in Fall 2016. Essentially, the document identifies goals and objectives, which will allow the college to remain a competitive institution in the coming years. Goal 1 is Engagement.
Lynchburg Christian Fellowship engaged approximately 200 students throughout the 2016-17 academic year in a variety of events and programs. InFaith Community, a weekly evangelical worship service, regularly engages 15-30 students. The community hosted two worship concerts this academic year, drawing 150+ individuals from the student body and community. LCF, a weekly student led bible study community, engages 15-20 students in bible study, accountability and fellowship. B.Y.O.B. (bring your own Bible) launched in the fall as a women’s accountability and bible study group. The community engages 30-35 female students. Each of these communities have leadership teams. Team members regularly meet with me for training, planning and coaching. Translation: the LBA Lynchburg Christian Fellowship ministry engages approximately 200 Lynchburg College students by providing worship and discipleship opportunities.
The goal for the coming academic year is 250. Conversations with students has revealed interest in additional small groups. Debriefing with existing leaders sparked infrastructure reorganization and recruiting additional leaders. Participation on the Lynchburg College Student Success Team (which explores ways to increase student retention) has generated additional ideas and dreams. Conversation with other departments has netted partners for events/programs due to launch in Summer/Fall 2018. In a recent conversation with the equity and inclusion officer and enrollment services the idea for First Sundays at LC, a traditional worship service meeting at 10am in Snidow Chapel, was born. In addition, my doctoral work has sparked some ideas. Dreaming has begun.
I invite you to dream with me… and I invite you to pray about ways to join me in engaging students. True, some of the more traditional ways to engage students are no longer options; but maybe revitalization of some traditional ways is possible. It may be time to reinstate weekly meals, or monthly spaghetti fellowships. It may also be time to send welcome packets or provide exam boxes. As you pray and discern ways to engage students, send me an e-mail. I will keep you posted on what I am dreaming.
Have a grand summer.
Peace be the journey,