Wait… College Students Are Coming To Church?

Huh? They're not supposed to go on a church retreat in college, are they?

Huh? They're not supposed to go on a church retreat in college, are they?

So I’m a campus minister. It’s what I do. Let me rephrase: it’s what I try to do. I hang out in our student center, plan our Monday night Bible studies, go to lunch or coffee with Crimson Tiders, and, on occasion, act a complete fool. That’s how I roll (Bama pun somewhat intended).

The thing about it is, I’m surprised I have a job. Not because I feel like I should get fired for running around campus in a monkey suit or talking trash when I beat people in Goldeneye (both of which serve as valid criteria for my removal). Actually, what I find somewhat shocking is the fact that college students have enough time and energy to participate in the whole campus ministry thing.

Listen, I’m not trying to degrade today’s college student. Actually, I’m doing quite the opposite. Since I’ve started spending a good portion of my time with college students, I’ve found that they’re the busiest sons-of-guns in the world. Seriously– get up at 7 on a school day, go to class, study, go to class, eat lunch, go to class, study, eat dinner, go out, find their way to bed around 3 or 4. Average about 4-6 hours of sleep per night.

Where in the world do they find the time to come to a Bible study? Or, let me put it a different way… why in the world would they find the time to come to a Bible study or a worship service or whatever? Granted, I’m happy about the situation. Gives me something to do (yes, it’s all about me). But, really… how do they pull it off and, maybe more importantly, why?

It seems to me that there’s a culture of fear going on within the Church. People are saying, “Oh my goodness! Whatever are we going to do? Things are so different! The Church is changing! We need to go back to the way things were back in the 1960’s. Those were the good ole days, back when coffee was coffee, not this mocha latte crud we serve nowadays.” The Church is also getting all goth on us now… not that goth is bad, but there is a hint of darkness to it all. People say, “The Church is dying. Just burning to the ground. Maybe, if we had ballroom dancing or if we showed The Matrix, people would find us relevant again.”

Yeah, there’s some truth to all of this. But, are you seeing what I’m seeing? Are you witnessing what I am? College students… you know, the ones who are supposed to be taking a break from the whole ‘church’ scene because they’re too busy sleeping in and studying and going out late at night… are showing up even though they have every reason not to. They are prioritizing church… how crazy is that?!

Maybe they’re not showing up in droves or carpools or anything like that… I mean, there’s still a ton of work to do, especially within our denomination. The fact of the matter is that we do lose a lot of “membership” during the college/young adult years.

But, when I channel some Kevin Costner/Ray Kinsella, I discover that if you build it, they will come. It’s about intentionality, people. It’s about letting them know we love them, that we’re not leaving them out hanging out to dry, that we really value what they have to say! And if that means the Church will change or that it won’t be what it once was, well… let it be.

Maybe then we’ll actually start taking this whole being reformed according to the Word of God thing seriously.

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~ by presbytide on September 3, 2009.

One Response to “Wait… College Students Are Coming To Church?”

  1. Great post. No matter how hard I try, I cannot recreate the passion and energy I had for life and for Christ that I possessed in college. I still fervently love the gospel and what I do, but the energy of student ministry cannot be duplicated.

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