12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. Phil 2:12,13
Why College? Most important decisions: –Identity –Core Values –Independence –Calling –Marriage
4 Critical Transitions: High school, College, Career, Marriage, Family –How well are you transitioning? –How are you preparing yourself?
Discussion: What makes it hard to live the Christian life in the college years?
In His Image: Reflecting Christ in Everyday Life Michael Wilkins says, “Young people struggle with spiritual and moral disintegration” –Breakdown of support (Family) –No real life guidance –Understanding of home, love, family, trust, commitment has been shaken or destroyed (pg51)
Why do young people leave the church (de-church)? Top 10 Reasons Church Dropouts stop going to church 1.Simply wanted a break from church 2.Church members seem judgmental or hypocritical 3.Moved to college and stopped attending 4.Work responsibilities prevented me from attending 5.Moved too far away from the church to continue attending Essential Church
Why do young people leave the church (de-church)? Top 10 Reasons Church Dropouts stop going to church 6.Became too busy, though still wanted to go 7.Didn’t feel connected to the people in my church 8.Disagreed with the church’s stance on political or social issues 9.Chose to spend more time with friends outside of church 10.Was only going to church to please others
Do-It-Yourself Spirituality Budziszewski “How to Stay a Christian in College” name for the a belief that everyone makes up his own view about God and ultimate reality, and that the best way to do this is to gather attractive ideas from various sources from religions, from philosophies, even from movies and TV shows.
Silent Exodus “ Unless at a Christian college, research consistently reports a decline in religious values, attitudes and behaviors during the college years” (Budziszewski)
Why do young people stay in the church? Strong relationships with peers, adults and pastor Church is seen as a vital part of their relationship with God Committed to the purpose and work of the church.
How to Stay a Christian in College? (Budziszewski) Relativism (Professors, Friends) College Campus Ministries (other Christians) –Friendships –Accountability Finding ways to serve and grow –Do you want to grow? –What are you doing to grow? View campus as training ground
Undivided Heart Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. (Ps 86:11) Inside Out Mentality- focusing on the inner person, growing in spiritual intimacy with Jesus. As we develop His trusting, obedient nature, inward changes in our attitude towards God and others will result in changes in our outer behavior. –Contrast with Pharisees who worked from the outside in, expecting outward observance to produce inward change.
Competing Priorities Drifting away (Heb 2:1-4) Warnings of Sodom and Gomorrah Thorns and Weeds Strong Foundation Eyes, Ears, and Heart –Be careful little ears what you hear –Be careful eyes what you see
Dallas Willard Disciplines of abstinence –Solitude –Silence –Fasting –frugality Disciplines of Engagement –Study –Worship –Celebration –Prayer –Fellowship –Confession –Submission
A Long Obedience in the Same Direction (Eugene Peterson) Short attention span Where are you going? World whispers “why bother?” Cultural lie: “everything is okay” Live in freedom, but enslaved by complainers and addictions World is peppered with enthusiasm, like grass, but wither quickly
A Long Obedience in the Same Direction (Eugene Peterson) It is easy to be a Christian, its harder to be a sinner. True repentance is saying “no” to the world and saying “yes” to God. Perseverance is not the result of determination, but God’s Faithfulness. Ingredients of a cake
Suggested Reading The Bible… How to Stay a Christian in College? Budziszewski A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society. Eugene H. Peterson, Intervarsity Press Downers Grove, Illinois. Second ed. 2000 Twenty Someone: Finding Yourself in a Decade. Craig Dunham & Doug Serven. Waterbrook Press, 2003. In His Image: Reflection Christ in Everyday Life. Michael J. Wilkins. 1997 Celebration of Disciplines. Richard Foster