“I need a break.” Whether consciously or subconsciously many graduating high school seniors have this thought creep into their minds as they enter their freshman year of college. Who can blame them? Many students who regularly attend church in the twelfth grade have most likely been attending for many years, if not their whole lives. College students often choose their career path, lifelong friends, and spouses during these four years (not to mention all of the habits that are formed), so making these critical decisions without Jesus is definitely not recommended.
The solution is not to give graduating seniors a pass to skip church in college or take a break from their faith altogether. The solution is actually quite simple but takes a quality investment of time: prepare our students now so they are able to stand on their own later.
For the most part, the college experience is a testing season for many Christian students. Students are questioned, challenged, confronted, mocked, and even ridiculed for their faith. For example, before I finished my bachelor’s degree at a private Christian university, I attended a local public college. It was there during a Humanities class discussion that I asserted Jesus is God, and He claimed to be God in the Bible. My professor rebuked me by claiming Jesus never claimed to be God, but it was His disciples and followers who conjured up that doctrine after His death. I respectfully responded, “If Jesus never claimed to be God then what was His crime that sentenced Him to execution on a cross?” Stuck at a crossroads, the professor changed the subject and finished the class like the conversation never happened.
Are we challenging our students to think for themselves as opposed to telling them what to believe? Are we assuming we know what our students believe simply because they attend a church that teaches the Bible? Below are straightforward questions to help students prepare for college.
- Do I have a written testimony of my salvation experience?
- What is my plan for quiet times or devotionals during college?
- What church will I attend, and how will I serve?
- When I have the opportunity to lead someone to faith in Jesus, will I know how?
- Who will I talk to if I start to have doubts or drift away from Jesus?
- Will you tell me about your salvation experience?
- How do you choose new friends?
- Where will you go to church during college?
- How will you serve in the church during college?
- Going forward, will you tell me if you are struggling with your faith or any other area?
Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need more personalized assistance and resources as you send your graduating senior to college. Finding a church and a community of believers in a new place can be intimidating, so we are here to help!