Changing of the guard

Sometime this summer new freshmen will move up and graduating seniors will move on. In other words, your group will change.

Here’s one way to influence the change.

Back in college we joined the men’s choir. Eternal practices, frantic sprints to reach the dining hall before it closed (one guy leapt over the hood of a car waiting by a stop sign), spiritual high points during concerts, and unforgettable tours twice a year.

But the end of our junior year when all the seniors left — the guys who made the group what it was — seemed like the end. A bunch of us decided not to sign up in the fall.

That’s when we got the call from our director. He had the roster in his hand when we appeared at his office. Where were our names? What were we thinking?

We gave him the speech about how all the fun guys were gone and it wouldn’t be the same any more. That argument impressed him not at all. “You men were mentored by those upperclassmen for this very year — the year you’ll lead the incoming class in making choir an awesome experience. You have no business abandoning this group just when it’s your turn to lead it.”

Whoa! Talk about motivation! We walked out of his office with squared shoulders. And that senior year was pretty awesome.

One of our students commented this weekend on the spiritually mature seniors leaving our group and the wild and wooly freshmen sweeping in like a storm. Some of the parents aren’t letting their kids come anymore due to the new group culture.

Which presents a golden opportunity for influence. What if you took your new seniors out for coffee — individually or in small groups — and gave them the vision of leading this group to a new high-water mark of spiritual strength and bold goals?

Few students will shun an impossible challenge.