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2017 is upon us as are the perennial New Year’s Resolutions. I applaud the attempts made through this holiday tradition to bring about change, but many are temporary. Students need more than holiday resolutions as they face challenges for the New Year.

Now is a great time to invest a little extra time helping them think through those challenges.

While we are imparting information to students, we need to help them learn to assimilate and think. Asking questions is a vital tool in this process.

Here are “5 Questions to Help Prepare Your Students for 2017.” I suggest you or a member of your leadership team sit down with each student to review the questions. If this is not possible, give them to the students via, print, email, text, Facebook, or some other means.

  1. What one thing do you want to change in your life this year? Help them identify a physical, spiritual, etc., type of concept and turn it into a goal.
  1. Who is the one person who can help strengthen your relationship with Christ this year? Proverbs 27:17 reminds us, “Iron sharpens Iron.” Help them identify a person (peer or adult) who can be a spiritual accountability partner.
  1. Where do you face your greatest spiritual struggles? Literally have them identify the location or locations where they have their greatest struggles. This may be relative to relationships, the internet, parties, certain people’s homes, or school. Being open and honest about the place(s) is a first step to overcoming the struggle.
  1. When do you most face discouragement, hardship or temptation and need encouragement? For some students, this timing is predictable while for others it is spontaneous (knowing their personalities will help you). It is important to help them understand timing, and this is a time you can reach out to help them. (Ex: Think about sending a quick text to them at that critical time.)
  1. How can I (or someone in leadership) help you this year? The first four questions have been specific. This one is open ended so the student can add anything they believe is important. This information should enhance your ability to mentor/disciple.

A plan for follow-up and accountability increases the rate of long-term success. I am suggesting something more permanent than resolutions for your students. Try these questions, and let me know how they work for you or share others questions you are using.

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