College has increasingly become a place where one’s faith in Jesus is being attacked. We know from multiple studies that many young people leave their faith while in college. It may not be intentional, but slowly, over the four to five years in college, faith in Jesus can fade away.
Seemingly simple acts can go a very long way to keeping Jesus at the core of a college career. I suggest seven easy ways young Christians can help keep their faith strong while in college:
1. FIND A LOCAL CHURCH: Although you have left your home church for this season in college, that doesn’t mean you should leave church altogether. Find a local church near campus, commit to attending regularly, and join small groups of your peers within the church.
2. BE PART OF A BIBLE STUDY: Even secular colleges have many resources for Christian students. Find a small group or Bible study to join. The group could be young women, young men, both men and women, athletes, residents of the same hall, etc. Canʼt find a Bible study to join? Start one.
3. MAKE NEW CHRISTIAN FRIENDS: Youth group and church friends are probably scattered across different college campuses now. Be intentional about making new Christian friends that will be good influences and help keep you accountable.
4. CONNECT WITH A CHRISTIAN MENTOR: Many young people appreciate a mentor who is more experienced in their faith walk and can offer guidance and wisdom. Consider a Christian professor, coach, or even an older student.
5. JOIN A FAITH-BASED GROUP: Nearly every college campus has a long list of groups and organizations that keep Christ at their center. Joining one or more will allow you to find events, make friends, and deepen your faith. Examples include Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Cru, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Ratio Christi, Young Life or dozens of others.
6. OPEN YOUR BIBLE ALONG WITH YOUR BOOKS: As you “crack the books,” also “dig into the Bible.” Even with all the studying, making time to remain in Godʼs Word is crucial. Find a daily devotional that speaks to you or download a Bible reading plan through an online resource such as YouVersion.
7. PRAY FOR GODʼS WISDOM: Dedicate at least part of your day to time in prayer to God, whether in the morning, during a walk to class, or as the day comes to a close. Ask God for wisdom, guidance, and perseverance to stay focused on Him and devoted to Him so you can serve Him and follow His will.
These specific actions can help students stay close to Christ and stand strong while in college. Jesus longs for their souls at this very important time in life, as they make decisions and form relationships that will impact the rest of their lives.
Christian apologists Alex McFarland and Shari Abbott answer some of life's many questions concerning the gospel, faith, and the Bible by sharing Truth for a New Generation and Reasons for Hope found only in Jesus. For more information about apologist, evangelist, author, and religion and culture analyst, Alex McFarland, visit www.alexmcfarland.com. For more information about Shari Abbott, executive director of Reasons for Hope* Jesus, click here.
Truth for a New Generation (TNG) serves nationwide, featuring a multi-year conference tour and student-led club program to equip teenagers, parents, grandparents, and others who lead them to live for God. TNG's mission is to creatively communicate a compelling Christian worldview to the next generation by giving answers to tough questions, based on the truths of Scripture, and to build up the Body of Christ to stand strong and boldly proclaim the gospel in the world. For more information and resources visit www.truthforanewgeneration.com.
Do not be anxious about anything. (Phil 4:6)
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must rightly remember who is in control. Our God is sovereign over all things, including COVID-19. As Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) said, “The sovereignty of God is a soft pillow on which weary people lay their heads.”
Remember also God’s gracious promise, and that it is true and He is faithful to keep it: Hebrews 13:5 …”I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” The next verse remind us of the power that comes in trusting God and how we can live: Hebrews 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man [or COVID-19] shall do to me.
God loves us, and in Christ we find confidence and calm in times of uncertainty and trouble. When we trust in God, fear is replaced with faith, stress is replaced with strength, anxiety is gone and hope abounds, problems become opportunities, and we are able to receive the blessings God has for us in the midst of difficult circumstances. Turn to Jesus. He will lead you to the still waters and give rest for your troubled soul.
This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…Hebrews 6:19
Be Ready Always...
to give a reason for the Hope that you have (1 Peter 3:15). When you can’t share the gospel with your words, share it by leaving tracts that tell people about God's grace.
When leaving a tract, always be diligent to pray about the short gospel message. Pray that it be found by someone who is in need of Jesus’ saving grace, and pray that the person will have a tender heart and open ears to receive the gift Jesus desires to give them.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, even a small tract can help in turning a broken sinner from darkness to light.
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