1. Approach the pastor on a weekday and ask if there could be a time where you could give a update or testimony to what God is doing in your life while in college. This could be an update on a calling to ministry, any mission trips you’ve gone on, or talking up a new mission trip you are raising support for. The one thing churches in your hometown love to hear about is Gospel ministry and how you are engaging in it while in college.
2. Offer to teach a community group or Sunday School class for young students while you’re home on a specific topic that God has gripped your heart with. The church will love you for this and see this as a huge sign of spiritual maturity on your part as you give back to the ministry that exposed you to the Gospel in your most formative years.
3. Ask to be a guest teacher in an adult class for every Sunday you are home to connect with the senior adults, middle aged couples, young couples. Be creative and outgoing. Show them how much God is working in your life by exposing them to things you’ve learned about Christ and living on mission for Him. These people will cherish this time and it can replace any memories in their minds of you being a rambunctious and obnoxious child which is a huge added bonus. Giving back to those who taught you will be such a blessing to them and you will show them the seeds that they planted long ago have come to a wonderful harvest by your maturity in the Gospel.
4. Finally, spend time buying coffee or lunch leaders of the church, both staff and lay leaders, who can offer you some key leadership insights. By sharing your heart with them and opening yourself up for teachable moments you will grow in continued favor with those men and women and keep the channels of communication and ministry open for future mission endeavors and ministry opportunities.
These are just a few things I have learned and done over the years with my “home church”. The effects of keeping open the channels of communication and staying engaged have been tremendous. I love my “home church” more now than I did when I left it 8 years ago and I have a stronger relationship with her people than I ever have before. God bless you in your break and may God bless the ministry you do for Him and His Church.
James K. Forbis
James is one of our collegiate ministry associates at the KBC. He works closely with Brian Combs on social media strategy and engaging college students effectively with their BCM’s and local churches. James is a M.Div candidate at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Pastoral Leadership with emphasis on Ethics and Religious Liberty. James comes to us after having served in the Millennial Adult ministry at Cross Church of Northwest Arkansas as a residential pastor and a North American Church Planting intern with NAMB. He regularly blogs at www.cbmw.org,is on the board of directors of Renewed Hearts Fellowship, which is a non-profit that seeks to provide orphan and widow care from an Evangelical perspective, and is actively engaged at the BCM ministry at the University of Louisville.
You can engage with James on Twitter at @jforbis