How to stay close to Jesus when college life threatens to pull you away.
Where is Jesus in your life? It’s a good question for every Christian and for every college student adapting to a new world away from home. If you come from a Christian family and went to a Lutheran elementary school and a Lutheran high school, college may seem like a break from it all. We begin to think that our relationship with God is fine. Then suddenly we discover that studying, friends, and work are crowding him out of our everyday life.
Our relationship with God is something that we can strengthen every day. Here are some things you can do:
Have a daily devotion. I know this sounds simple, but I think as we get busier with class and work, Jesus can get pushed to the sidelines. This is why I find it helpful to make a daily devotion schedule—to budget time in your day for reflection and digging into God’s Word. I start my day with my devotion. It is a good way to begin my morning and also keeps me from pushing it off until right before I go to bed when I might forget. If you are a night owl, reading or watching a devotion before you go to bed can be a great way to end your day.
Start a prayer book. I find this helpful in connecting my outside world to my Christian faith. I think as we get into the habit of taking care of everything ourselves in college, we forget that God is always on our side. We should be praying to him about the troubles and joys that he lets into our lives. A prayer book is also about thanking God for his blessings. I find it helpful to carry a little notebook to write down things throughout the day to pray about later.
Find a church. If your home church is near your college or university, I encourage you to try and get back every Sunday. Yup, every Sunday! You don’t realize until you stop going how much of a support system your home church can be. Those people really do care about how you are doing. If you are living far away from home, don’t be afraid to go to a new church in your area. The “Find a Church” tab on the WELS website is extremely helpful in finding a church. If you’re afraid to go by yourself, invite your roommates to go with you. You all can be a little awkward together. In the end, you are creating a support system that is important to your faith long term.
Join a campus ministry. Being involved in a campus ministry is one of the best ways to strengthen your faith. You are surrounded by people your own age who are going through similar issues. They are great at keeping you close to Jesus. Going to a campus ministry lets you help others stay close too. It is another way that you can put God into your life on a day other than Sunday. Campus ministries provide an opportunity to take a deeper look into Bible texts that you may not always get to talk about. They are a great place to connect with people who are like you. While strengthening your faith, you’ll make great friendships as well.
BONUS: Here’s one more way to get your daily dose of God’s Word: Read Forward in Christ magazine and Meditations Daily Devotional. College students can get free subscriptions to both publications by signing up with WELS Campus Ministry.
Visit wels.net/cm100 to learn more. There you can also find Bible studies, podcasts, video series, and other resources to help you stay connected to Christ.
Author: Hannah White
Volume 107, Number 2
Issue: February 2020