If you go away to college, don’t leave church behind! God speaks to us through the church. Casually attending church in college will result in four years of missing out on what God wants to say to us.
Looking for a church away at college? Finding a new church at college isn’t always easy—especially in you have grown up in one church. Being part of a College Ministry is important, so here are a few tips for you, whether you’re staying in the Ruston area for school or going away to another place. We hope these tips will help you get settled into a church soon.
Don’t be a sleepy head!
First, you have to go. You’re not going to find a church home if you don’t ever look, so it is important to go the first week. Sure, you’re tired. Moving in is a pain, however nurturing your relationship with Christ is critical, so get up and go. The people you meet the first week of school will often become your friends for the whole year.
It’s going to feel different than your Youth Ministry
Remember it’s not the Youth Ministry. When you are in a youth ministry you will know everyone. College Ministries are always a mix: folks who grew up in the church, folks who attend a local school and are regular, plus a rotating mix of members and guests who change every week. It’s normal that getting to know College Ministry folks can be harder because there are so many different people. That leads to the next point….
You can’t make true friends with one visit!
It takes time to get to know folks. Good friendships and feelings of acceptance don’t happen overnight. Think about it: you don’t move into the dorm expecting to become best friends with your roommate by nightfall. Yes, it should be easier to make friends at church, but you have to give it time.
Only show up on Sundays and you will never get to know the church!
Get involved. It is easy to take the back seat in a College Ministry, you are just there for a few years, semesters or maybe just the summer. Why should you get involved if you are going to be leaving soon? Simply put, being an active part of everything will help you spiritually and socially. Take part on Sunday morning, mid-week Bible studies and social events so the church can minister to you.
Look for a place where college students matter.
Look for a church that ministers to you! Churches don’t have to have a huge program for college students. Look for a church that seems to care about you. Ask friends about good churches in the area, talk to Baptist Collegiate Ministry (BCM/BSU), or simply browse the internet. Everyone has an off-day, so don’t write off a church on the first visit because it didn’t seem like home.