The place we choose to spend the first four years following high school can shape us, move us, and challenge us arguably more than any other time in our life. College is a time for growth, not just as individuals but also in our relationship with God. In general, when considering higher education there are two different places God uses his children to build up his kingdom. The first is at institutions where God calls students to be light in the darkness in a crowd of many unbelievers. State schools, public schools, and private schools alike all have thousands of thousands of students who do not know or believe in Jesus. If this is you, what an incredibly powerful calling that is! This wasn’t the call Jesus had on my life, but I respect you for having the strength to bring glory to Christ in that place. The second place God calls college students to live is in a bigger Christian community on Christian campuses. Both places allow believers to share the gospel with peers in new and different ways.
With a month of school already completed, God has been teaching me a lot about complacency. Personally, attending a Christian college with 2,000 other students seemingly similar to myself it is often so easy to get complacent in my faith and not talk about Jesus. So many times I have automatically assumed that everyone around me was already a Christian so we didn’t need to talk about it. But think about it… When was the last time you prayed with a friend about something you are struggling with (not just before a meal)? Have you had any convicting conversations of what God has been teaching you lately? Have you taken any action to seek out people in your community that are struggling? We have a hundred opportunities each day to intentionally grow in Christ with others around us but instead often times we say nothing. Realistically, there will be no other time in our life when we will be surrounded by such a large amount of believers our age that are going through the same thing as us.
Right now is the ideal time to start being intentional. Be intentional about bringing Jesus into the conversation on your campus. Be intentional about asking questions and supporting your peers in their walk with God. Be intentional in making time for your personal quiet times with God. Just because we live in a Christian community doesn’t mean we don’t have to put the same effort into our faith and fellowship. Rather, sometimes it means we have to put in a little more intentional effort into our relationships in order to have those conversations.
If you get nothing else out of this article, hear this, just because you attend a Christian school does not make you a better Christian. I know not everyone has this mindset but it is so important to point out that the institution name on your resume does not matter when considering your personal relationship with God. For example, sitting through Bible classes or mandatory chapel doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m growing in my faith unless I put in the effort. Going to church with my friends on Sundays doesn’t mean we have deep theological discussions on the car ride home or genuine fellowship unless someone actively starts that conversation. I am not a perfect Christian, in fact, I sin multiple times a day but, I believe in a perfect God who is constantly pursuing me.
I don’t know what it’s like to attend a secular school but what I do know is that people everywhere need Jesus. Whether you go to a Christian school or a secular school, freshman or a senior, or an introvert or extrovert. Start the conversation and be intentional, not complacent. Make Jesus the center of your conversation today and pursue him in community.