Keeping The Faith

In an effort to stay connected with my college Woman of Worth ladies,  I will be posting devotional thoughts and questions from our book, The Freshman 15 by Kate Henderson.

See you on October 9 (College Fall Break for CNU and Richard Bland)

See you on October 15 (College Fall Break for VT)

Please email me questions about those dates if needed.

Parents and students please read the article below by clicking on the title.  You can also see the highlights below and come back to the article later.

Dropouts and Disciples: How many students are really leaving the church?

Some highlights:

Church attendance among teens and young adults follows some important patterns. There are always some coming and some going. Yet something significant happens between the ages of 17 and 19 that accounts for the vast majority of those who leave. At age 17, the twice- monthly attendance of our study sample drops as follows:

  • 16–17, drop 10%
  • 17–18, drop 14%
  • 18–19, drop 13%

What Works?

Statistically, we found four factors that were the most predictive in determining which teenagers stayed in church:

  • I wanted the church to help guide my decisions in everyday life (prior to 18).
  • My parents were still married to each other and both attended church (prior to 18).
  • The pastor’s sermons were relevant to my life (prior to 18).
  • At least one adult from church made a significant investment in me personally and spiritually (between 15 and 18).

the freshman 15, chapter 1, Keeping the faith

Your faith will be tested, and little by little you may find yourself pulling away from a daily intimate relationship with Jesus.

How does this happen?

We often jump to answers surrounding temptation and rebellion against God’s principles and promises, but it can be summed up into one word:

BUSY

http://www.rcsoatl.com/2014/03/how-to-plan-for-busy-week-college.html

College Students are usually busy with the following:

  • New friends
  • New living space
  • Job
  • School work
  • Extra curricular activities
  • Staying connected to your family
  • Relationships
  • The pressure of the Dean’s List
  • Time spent with emotional thoughts–excitement, worry, fear, confusion, questioning

Matthew 6:25-34 reminds us not to worry about our life.  If you’ve seen the movie War Room, the prayer warrior gives complete control over to Jesus in the most challenging of circumstances.  This frees you up to pray, worship, and study God’s Word.  You allow God to fight your battles, and you trust that He will provide.

The answer to busy?

PUT GOD FIRST

NO MATTER HOW YOU FEEL OR WHAT’S ON THE CALENDAR

In the Freshman 15 book, she gives you packing instructions for college.

  1. Must pack: SEEK GOD FIRST

What does it mean to seek God first?

2. Must pack: SPEND TIME WITH THE LORD

What are the things keeping you from seeking Him first?

When are you going to set aside time daily to be in His Word and pray? Where (be specific)? What are you going to study? Will you keep a journal?

3.  Must pack: GET PLUGGED INTO A LOCAL CHURCH

For example, I went to Christopher Newport’s website and found this! (click on the word “this” for a complete list)

Baptist Campus Ministries (BCM)
Baptist Campus Ministries is a student-led organization open to all denominations and anyone exploring their faith. It provides opportunities for Bible study, discipleship, fellowship, and missions. We strive to cultivate strong community and develop church leaders. Baptist Campus Ministries at CNU is a part of a nation-wide organization known as Baptist Collegiate Ministries.
website: www.cnubcm.weebly.com
email: bcm@cnu.edu

When searching, you want it to be a good fit, but remember it may not be like your home church. Churches are not perfect, and you are there to worship Jesus, not to find out if they have a coffee bar, comfy seats, or a pastor that’s hip and cool.  You want teaching grounded in God’s Word and a place that emphasizes growing in the knowledge of Jesus, grace, and prayer.

I’m going to add a fourth to the suggested three in the book.

4. Must Pack:  A COMMITTED MIND

Every decision you make and action you take, originated with a thought in your mind. The Holy Spirit is your comforter and powerful tool to keep your mind SET on keeping your faith.  No one else can do this for you.  There was a time your parents encouraged you in spiritual matters, but little by little, it becomes your journey alone with Christ. In fact, this is the most important decision you will make in college. Good grades, a career, perhaps a future spouse are the practical, most evident important decisions before you. Yet, unless you seek God first and His will for your life, these crucial areas could be disastrous or confusing.  Your JOY is found in Christ alone, and He directs your path and future.  Will you be courageous?

Choose THIS DAY whom you will serve!

But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”  Joshua 24:15

Change the words Euphrates and Amorites to modern-day words like busy, apathy, influence of professors and friends, parties, relationships, school work, …..

and

Take a stand! Say, right now out loud—

BUT AS FOR ME, I WILL SERVE THE LORD!

https://www.sylvaniachurch.com/ministries/college-career/

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