Talked with a student yesterday who was struggling. I asked him what was up and he said that CIY Move (A week long event for high school students) just feels different this year. He said he didn’t feel like he was learning as much as he did last year and it was different. I proceeded to remind him of where he was last year and where he has been since then. Last year he was a new Christian and over the last year he has read the entire Bible and really dived into who God is in his life.I told him it would be different, very different because he is not in the same place. So how do we prepare students for the Sophomore slump that can happen sometimes at these big events? Here are 3 steps I am going to be implementing into my own ministry to help remedy this issue.
1. Prepare them to see what has happened in the last year. They need to understand they are different from who they were a year ago. Help them to look how God has moved in their life over the last year and celebrate how the conference you are at has helped them to move to where they are. Acts 12:24 says, “But the word of God continued to increase and spread.” Help them to see where God’s word has increased in their life.
2. Help your students understand they will only get out of the event what they put into it. If a student comes and just expects to sit there and not put any effort into what is happening they will have a harder time allowing God to work in their life. Ecclesiastes 9:10a says, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.” Help them to put effort into their own learning.
3. Help your students understand that the event you are at is not the end all or be all but a tool for them to use in their walk with Christ. Ultimately their relationship with Christ is their responsibility and the event you are at is something to help them move in the right direction. At an event like CIY Move students are shown examples of people who did exactly this, they took ultimate responsibility for their faith. Hebrews 6:12 says, “We do not want to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.” We need to help them understand they cannot become lazy and rely on these mountain top experiences each year to grow their faith, that they need to look to the examples they see and implement it into their lives.
Students need to continue to grow, learn, and walk with Christ in these events we do. Getting them into the right mindset before the event can make all the difference in the world. I would love to hear your comments on some things you have done to help students deal with this.