Advice for Collegians

Greg Hendrickson is the pastor for staff coordination, member integration and college ministry at Trinity Baptist Church in New Haven near Yale University. I’ve known Greg for many years and delight to introduce him to you with this excellent piece on being a student in a secular university setting: When I left home to be a freshman at Yale in 1999, my dad urged me to delve into the book of Daniel. After four years in college and eight years as a campus minister in the Northeast, I am still struck by the parallels between the challenges and opportunities that Daniel faced in Babylon and those of a Christian student at a secular university. Daniel was suddenly transplanted from his “Bible belt” home in Jerusalem (which, despite its reputation, had become quite compromised spiritually) to the pagan capital of Babylon. He was enrolled in a three year training course along with other elite students...

Continue Reading

Sink, Splutter or Swim – Student Survival 2012

I am pleased to have Dave Gobbett guest blog for me today. Dave is the associate pastor with responsibility for students at Eden Baptist Church, Cambridge, in England. Sink, splutter or swim? The opening weeks at university can be a challenge of Olympic proportions. And while three or four years on everyone can see the difference between a now thriving spiritual Michael Phelps and a barely surviving spiritual also-swam, back on day one, everyone looked the same. Same bright eyes full of opportunity, same anxious anticipation at the prospect of leaving home, same exhilaration at being let loose in a kitchen for the first time. For the Christian student, additional early emotions await. Excitement: how might God use me this year to be salt and light for him at college? Nervousness: how will my faith survive the belligerent attacks from lecturer or roommate? Realism: how will I resist the varying temptations in...

Continue Reading

Seven Steps to the Perfect Start to College or University

This month many students are beginning their first year of college or university. Here are seven steps to the perfect start, not only for these new freshmen, but also for those students who have already begun and are seeking a fresh start. 1.  Read the Bible and pray. This sounds obvious, but it isn’t. With more social pressure, less time, and less privacy, maintaining a regular, daily, discipline of quiet times is going to be difficult.  Don’t let it slip. 2.  Be a member of a local Bible teaching church. The one consistent predictor of who stays a Christian and thrives spiritually after university or college is who is committed to a local Bible teaching church. I love para-church groups, have been involved with many, and support them, but if a student is not a part of a local church, they are far less likely to be part of a local church when they are no...

Continue Reading