You’ve spread your wings, you’re out on your own, you are a college student! You have graced the threshold to adulthood and are now prepared to face the world. This may sound pretty enticing for a while, but then the homesickness settles in. You miss your parents and your friends. You even got to the point where you actually miss your siblings! You find yourself regressing, spending a little too much time on Facebook, browsing through what everyone else is doing without you there. You are too shy to go to the local congregation because you are just not too good at meeting people and hence, your newly refreshed connection you had with your Father in Heaven just a few weeks ago at your last Christian camp has vanished. Where do you go from here?
For those of you in a secular university, did you know that there are actually programs supported by various congregations for college students who are members of the church? Here on the campus of Southeastern Oklahoma State University we have the Student Bible Center. Those of you looking into college options can follow these tips.
- Ask the elders of your congregation to help you find a university with a solid Bible Chair program for members of the Church.
- When you and your parents visit the campus you will be attending, stop by the offices of the Bible Center program and meet the director. He can show you around the facilities, introduce you to fellow students, let you in on the activities and studies available within the center, and help you make roommate decisions by locating other incoming students with your same interests.
- Before starting college, try to visit the local congregation with your parents and get to know the members there. This will make moving into your new surrounding easier because you will still have a family in Christ there to support you along the way.
- Share information about the Bible Chair program with your friends; Christian and non-Christian. Help them get connected to the center so they too can benefit.
Bible Chair programs cater to making the students become a family unit who will encourage one another and hold one another accountable. The local church will often have an “Adopt a Student” program, and Godly families will take you in, have you over for meals, and invite you to become a part of them while you are away from home. You will participate in “team building” activities, eat together and have devotional times. You will study the Bible together, go on retreats that focus on the Word and oneness in Christ, have the opportunity to serve on mission trips and service projects, and so much more. Teens are falling away from the Church at an alarming rate. Churches are losing 75% of teens after they graduate high school. This is a very scary fact. Why is this so? I believe that one factor in this is because when the teens leave home, they do not replace their Godly support system they had back at home. Do not let this be you. As Christians, you are called for a higher purpose, and you should always yolk yourselves with other believers.
We all know the familiar passage in Genesis 2:18 which states, “It is not good that the man should be alone.” This passage is pertaining to marriage, and how Adam needed a helper to complete him. But think of this as a statement in general. It is not good for you to be alone. Find a church family to support you and help you along as soon as you leave “the nest”. God knew we would need each other; He designed the Church as a way for believers to help one another on the road to heaven. Do not neglect this vital need for oneness, just as an animal faces the danger of being killed because it is not within the protection of the heard, so will your soul be threatened by Satan and the temptation to fall away from Christ. Nothing is more important than being a part of Christ and His family. Protect each other by staying focused on the task of bringing others to Him and keeping yourself holy for Him.
“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection.” (Romans 12:9)