New Year, New... Student Work?

It’s the new year. Goals are being set in workplaces, kitchens and journals all over the country. The new year gives a chance for a fresh start and space to set new priorities. But how do we set goals for our student work? What are helpful measures of success that we can reflect back on in 6, 9 or 12 months time? 

The last year has taught us that perhaps goal setting for student ministry is not as simple as the SMART goals we learned in school (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timebound), although they can be helpful at times. Perhaps a helpful measure of success for our student work needs to dig a little deeper. This is where the 6 Cs come in. 

As Fusion, a key part of our goal setting for the year looks at the 6 Cs: Calling, Character, Chemistry, Capacity, Competency and Church. Let’s explore these further and work out how we can set goals and measure success. 

Calling 

The first of the 6 Cs is calling. The few years at university are a key time for students to consider not only what they are called to do after graduation, but who they are called to be. It is every student worker’s dream to release confident, committed, and faith-filled graduates at the end of the 3 years. 

When considering their next steps, do your students trust God’s provision for their lives?

Do they know how to live out their calling within and outside of your church community? 

Are they committed to following God’s lead with each next step? 

 

Character 

The second is character. The university will teach them their course, but you get to teach them about character. Their character is shaped by every experience they’ve been through and the people they spend time with, and it affects how they approach day-to-day life. 

How can you help students reframe how they see challenging situations in a way that grows their character? 

What questions do you need to ask them to hold them accountable and help them to thrive? (The Discipleship Deck is an excellent tool to help you with this!) 

Where can you grow in your character to be a role model to the students you know? 

 

Chemistry 

How well do your students know each other? Are there cliques? Whilst it’s true that not everyone will click with everyone, one measure of success is how your students love people who are different to them. Not only will this set them up well for life after graduation, but will help them to notice the gifts present in the people who make up the church. 

How are your students serving people who are different to them? 

Have your students signed up to help on teams, or serve less popular areas of ministry? 

How are your students handling conflict? 

 

Capacity 

Busy doesn’t mean fruitful, and in supporting students, we get to help them grow in their whole life discipleship. This means not jam-packing their week with church student events, but allowing them space to determine their own capacity, stretching it when needed and encouraging them to let their no be their no and their yes be their yes. 

Are you seeing the same students serving each time? Who can you challenge to step up and who can you encourage to rest more effectively? 

What is your own capacity in this season? Do you need to build team around you? 

How are your students thriving outside of a Sunday service or small group? 
 

Competency 

Your students will have one of the best opportunities to share their faith during their time at university. Are they equipped? Students are bolder than we sometimes give them credit for and are the best-placed people to take the stage and share the gospel. 

Are they confident in sharing the reason for their hope? 

Are they able to lead missional small groups that they can invite friends to? (Small Groups Big Mission can help you with this!) 

Where can your students be equipped to mobilise the wider church to share boldly? 

 

Church

The final one is a biggie. With the opportunity to stay in bed and watch church online, it’s never been so important to re-establish what being a part of a church community is. Part of being a church means showing up on a Sunday, serving and spending time together. 

Do your students know there is a place for them in your church? To serve and to contribute? 

Is church a non-negotiable in their week? Something they’d be sad to miss? 

Is your church service a place where students can invite friends to try? Are they doing it? 

A new season means new measures of success, ones that aren’t based on numbers or reports, but based on depth of relationships with Jesus and friends, boldness in sharing faith and releasing of younger leaders. 

As we begin this new year, allow yourself to pray bigger prayers, dream bigger dreams and entrust your students back to Jesus again. 

Victoria Seithel

Communications Developer

Viki loves raising up new leaders and is committed to sharing the hope-filled story of student mission with the churches she serves.

Partner with Victoria