Welcoming College Students
Written by Ben Uthe
College students are more skeptical than ever when it comes to any spirituality. The thought of church and any sort of religious authority comes with far too many bad examples from the news that leaves them jaded. Students have left the place they call home and now are not coming to church with mom and dad. Maybe for the first in their life, it is their decision if they go to church or not. If they do go, they likely need to coordinate a ride, which is never fun. So with that said we as a church should be going above and beyond to make sure that when these students do finally show up they feel welcomed and included.
It is really easy to view these students as not an essential part of the church. Let's be honest, they may only be at the church a year or two and they likely will not give much. Traditionally the church has struggled to view them as leaders and they can be labeled as non-committal. Despite that being true they are still a very important part in the life of our church! We as a body should value the role we get to play in their lives. We can be a part of them figuring out how to be adults. We can be a part of helping them really make their faith their own. We can be a part of helping to reach the next generation of Christ’s Church! This is an amazing opportunity! How different would we view college students if we actually thought through this lens?
This will not come naturally though. We as a body need to be intentional. Many college students miss home. They are tired of dining hall food and have not heard the familiar dad jokes in a long time. By simply opening up our homes to these students we can help their experience in college be a lot easier. So please consider inviting a student over for dinner. Bring them into your life, you might be surprised how many students will take you up on it! When you see a college student in our worship service go over and introduce yourself to them. They are longing for connection and it means so much if we as a church truly saw them and valued them. So my encouragement to you all is that college ministry is not just something a select few of us do. This is something we as a body must value and see as a vital part of equipping the next generation!