Finding A Christian Community In College

Finding A Christian Community In College

They may even become some of your best friends.
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I was lucky enough to be able to attend a Christian retreat over the first weekend of October. One of the things that they kept emphasizing was the need for community in your life. I had never thought about it from that perspective before. Yeah, everybody wants to have friends. What's new? Having friends and having Christian community in your life are two totally different things. Fortunately, my Christian community and my friends are the same people!

The first verse I thought of while I was writing this article was this, "For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them" Matthew 18:20. What is so exciting about that is whenever we are Bible studying, praying, or jamming out to Christian music, God is present with us.

I never truly recognized how important Christian community was until I came to TCU and realized I didn't have any here yet. I know what you're thinking, I'm at a Christian university. It literally has the word "Christian" in the title. I am here to tell you that doesn't mean a thing. There are still so many people that don't follow Christ passionately here yet, which makes it a breeding ground for your faith to plummet. That's why I was so excited when I finally found community within Phi Mu. I have made some of my best friends through this organization and have found Christian community with them.

My favorite part about having fellowship with these amazing people is the accountability that it puts on me. It's this constant push to be pursuing Christ in every aspect of my life. You have to be at church, at Bible study, and at prayer because you have people that will call you out when you aren't. It's exciting to have people that push you to grow closer to God because they genuinely care about your well-being.

Another thing that they really emphasized at the retreat was the need to get plugged in at a local church. I am so happy that I was able to find my church home within my first few weeks on campus. The community that I have found within Encounter/McKinney has been fantastic for my faith. If you aren't plugged in yet, do it! I promise, you will not regret it.

I think the reason that God put it on my heart to write this article was to inspire people to look for Christian community around them. It will hold you accountable in your faith and it may even give you some of your best friends.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay.com

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To Everyone Who Hasn't Had Sex Yet, Wait For Marriage, It's The Right Move

If you have not had sex yet, wait.

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Premarital sex is not a new concept, no matter how much people like to pretend it is. You can trace scripture and historical texts back thousands of year to see that lust and fornication have been a problem since… well, since we humans have been problems.

They tell you in sex ed that sex causes you to form a bond with someone. They throw some big chemical names at you that are apparently in your body and cause that emotional attachment to happen, then you move on (or back to) how important condoms are and why STDs are so scary.

As a middle schooler or teenager, you can't understand what it means to become permanently connected to someone as a result of a quick, physical act.

If you haven't even had your first kiss, you really can't imagine what it's like to develop such a complex and intimate connection with someone because you have yet to feel the butterflies in your stomach from a kiss. So you really don't know what it's like to have a whole different type of feeling in your stomach.

You never forget your first love. It's one of the most cliche things you consistently hear, but it's true. Ask anyone. I guarantee your parents can still spurt out their first love's name in a few seconds. And most people never forget their first time. I know all my friends can recount that often awkward and slightly terrifying moment as if it happened an hour ago. When you mix those two, especially if you are in your teens, oh boy.

You never forget that. No matter how hard you try.

Everything you hear about sex is true: it's amazing, fantastic, life-changing, etc. There's a reason people have done it as frequently as they do, for as long as they have. But every time you sleep with someone, you leave a piece of yourself with them. Every time you choose to take that final physical step with someone, you cannot go back and collect that piece of your dignity and soul that you left with someone.

So, imagine what happens when you break up with someone you've slept with. Or that you just hooked up with. You have given someone a little slice of yourself forever. And you can never get it back. And imagine what happens when you do that multiple times. You give a piece of yourself to five, 10, 15, 20 or more people. Then you meet the person that you want to spend forever with. And you no longer have that whole part of you. You've given pieces away, and you can no longer give those to the love of your life.

So, save those pieces for your future spouse.

If you have not had sex yet, wait. If you have, consider not giving more pieces of yourself away to people who are not your spouse. Sex was created to be between two spouses, nobody else. So we need to try to maintain its integrity.

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I'm An Atheist

The separation of Church and State is a thing for a reason...

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Growing up in a Catholic family is rough. Now, my family was not a strict Catholic family that you would see in the movies, we barely even went to church. But when I was in the church, even with my young eyes I could see the corruption unfolding before me. I was forced to go to "CCD" or Sunday School as most people know it. I don't even know what CCD stood for but I just went with it. I was the only kid in my class that had no clue what the Bible said or meant but all I really knew was that I didn't care. My mind was always cluttered with, "anyone could've written that" or "that doesn't even sound like it could physically happen in the world".

My final straw with Catholicism was when I was criticized by one of my peers who also went to my church for believing evolution. If a church couldn't even accept what was going on in front of them, I wanted no part of it. I was in 7th grade when I finally learned what I was, Atheist. Finally, someone put a label on it, I was very confused by the reaction from people when I said that. Growing up in a small town with a bunch of bible busters didn't help my case at all. I was told, "just go to church and God will find you", or "it's just a phase, you will find Him soon". But truth is, I don't want to find Him, or Him to find me. I have been berated over and over again about my choice of "religion". Like I said, I lived in a small town where everyone is religious except for a select few.

When I played volleyball, my team would pray before every game and I would stand to the side because I wanted no part of it. Or when my senior class decided to pray after the bus accident we endured, I choose to step to the back and play on my phone. Going to a public school you would think that there was the separation of church and state, NOPE. Going to a small school made it so much worse. There were church services at the school and religion would be tied to the lessons that were taught. I was absolutely appalled at what I was seeing, now that I am at college, I ask others if their high schools were like that and they said absolutely not.

So please, if we could respect those that do not have a religion or a religion other than Christianity, that would be great. Just recently, I revealed to my mother that I was an atheist, we were going through a very rough patch in my mental health journey and I felt like it was the right time to tell her. With all the support she has been getting from her posts about me, I would like to say thank you, but instead of praying for me, pray for those in your own life that are too scared to come forward about their mental health; I am slowly making progress, and that doesn't mean that I won't slip back down the hill. If you feel like you must do something for me, pray for yourselves and the loved ones in your life with mental health issues.

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