26 March 2012 ~ 3 Comments

A practice scenario

This was another chapter chock full of very practical ideas.  I really liked the concreteness of what they learned about the first two weeks of college and the intentionality that they encourage parents to have in the last school year and summer.

Our community is unique in it’s college preparation, as there is a great deal of preparation for testing as well as sorority preparations.  One of the reasons we do this so well is that there are very clear plans to work for both higher test scores and getting into the right sorority (I don’t know if the same type of things happen around fraternities).

This chapter offers some nice plans to work for sticky faith in the transition to college.  I think before one forms a plan we can as “what is my hope for my college student’s faith during college.”  We first need a goal, then a plan for that goal, and then we work the plan.  How do we do this without being helicopter or Velcro parents?

One thing that I haven’t seen this book talk more about is the fact that young people are taking longer in college, taking longer to find their career job, and taking longer to marry (essentially taking longer to become “adults”).  This has implications for one’s faith, since the “hook” back to church (marriage and kids) is going to be longer than any other generation.  If a college student takes a break from church beginning in college thinking they’ll go back when they are adults/settled/married (as in four years), that break can easily become ten to fifteen years.

I’m reading a book right now about creating habits (The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, Charles Duhigg).  One of the things Duhigg talks about is how Starbucks trains it’s baristas (50 hours a year of training, BTW).   Starbucks baristas are given scenarios (an angry employee for example) and asked to write a script about how they would respond to the scenario.  I wonder what this would look like for parents thinking through the first two weeks of college, or the whole college career, or even the first time one is offered drugs or alcohol.  Scripting a scenario we didn’t even know might exists can give us a huge advantage in navigating new or unfamiliar territory.

I look forward to hearing what you think of this chapter.

3 Responses to “A practice scenario”

  1. Christina 28 March 2012 at 2:17 am Permalink

    So wow this was a great chapter filled with so many ideas for our church. One of the things that I loved throughout the book was the pairing of the teen and another adult from the parish. A mentor, a person to talk with and keep in touch with. Someone to walk the sticky journey with. I truly hope that each of my children has many grown ups throughout their teen years to lean on and walk with. It takes a village or a community of stick grownups I think to support and grow and sticky faith teen.
    I am also a planner. I LOVE TO PLAN. So the idea of having a plan and an idea in my head works for me. I am not as comfortable creating a faith plan as other plans in life I might add. This idea is foriegn to me. A faith plan or really my faiith in general was just understood but never discussed. I went to church growing up then I did not form some of high school or as college student or in my twenties. Then went back when I got married and had kids. How amazing would it be not to have had this break. How would my choices have been different? Wow did I need my faith!!! I pray for this for my children. I want them to alway remember and nurture their sticky faith. I want them to remember and know that they are a child of God and are UNCONDITIONALLY LOVED by God and by me.

  2. Greg 30 March 2012 at 1:27 pm Permalink

    This chapter brought back my transition from a graduating class of 58 to UT Austin where my first Chemistry class was over 500. What resonated with me was the huge role that godparents could play in this transition. Once the freedoms of college become a reality, it sometimes seems like parents cannot/are not allowed to speak deeply into the life of their college age daughter or son. I remember this well – thank God I had a strong mentor.

    On the parent side of this discussion I see so much room to put into place those elements that can have lasting influence on their adult kid: making sure the college visit includes a church visit, keeping the godparent on task with some of the harder aspects of transition, and assuring they have some clarity about their own feelings as empty nesters.

    High: yogurt with the fam last night
    Low: long simmering disappointment boiling over

  3. Noralyn 31 March 2012 at 1:40 pm Permalink

    I really liked the practical nature of this chapter. I think of my nephew heading off to college next year. I think I am going to call my sister and talk about this book and the need to check out available churches. My nephew is a regular church go-er, does mission, acoltye. Yet I wonder how often we consider that transition? I have friends whose college ready kids look for the student union, bookstores, places to eat… but places to worship? What a wonderful way to say ‘I love you, and want to you find a place to grow, to be safe, to be with others who will love you.’ It is a way to confirm to the kids that faith IS important at all phases of life. The college kid may chose not to go, but he’ll know what is available. Even walking through the doors of a new church is hard. Good practice on the front end – as the authors talked about – checking out local / different churches together – and then doing the same during college visits and move ins. I agree.. .a good habit.

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