52 Ways: #51 – Encourage the kids away at college

Most of the past 50 Ways To Care have had to do with pastors, ministry leaders, and spouses, with a few directed toward the children.  Today’s post is about caring for his* adult children.

College is a transitional time in a young person’s life.  Some continue on in the belief systems that they brought with them from home, others can’t shake off the ties from home fast enough.  Either way it is a time of growing, learning, branching out, and discovering new things.  It can also be a time of fear, self-doubt, confusion, and questions.  It is a time when our young people are very vulnerable emotionally and spiritually.  A letter from “home” or a card with an uplifting note is a reminder that they are loved and cared for.  You don’t have to know the pastor’s son or daughter well in order to send a card.  It really is the thought that counts when it comes to receiving mail.

Can you imagine how it will feel when your pastor’s son or daughter receives cards randomly throughout the school year from family, friends, and even total strangers?  He or she will be assured that the people back home are thinking about them and praying for them.  They will know that they are loved.

If you have a relationship with your pastor’s son or daughter that goes deeper than a quick hello while passing in the hallway; perhaps you are the parent of a friend – you can go a bit deeper in your correspondence.  You can ask if there are any specific prayer needs.  You can offer to be a listening ear.  You can offer to just “be there”.

We never know how God will use us to minister into the life of someone else.  Some meetings seem random and coincidental, others seem like divine appointments.  God just might want to use you in the life of your pastor’s child that is away at college.  Sending cards and notes occasionally keeps that door of communication open.  Or, your correspondence may just be a nice reminder of home and hearth.  Either way it warms the heart.

One more thing; throwing in a $10 Starbucks gift card now and then wouldn’t hurt either.


*We recognize that there are many women pastors and that all posts don’t apply equally to men and women in ministry.  We try to be gender neutral and when the use of he/she or him/her is too cumbersome we default to the masculine pronoun.  The reverse is true for referring to the pastor’s spouse.  We hope that you can read past these masculine and feminine pronouns to the spirit behind each post —- creative ways to be a blessing to those who serve us…..and their spouses.


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