3 Simple Steps To Keep Your Faith in College

3 Simple Steps To Keep Your Faith in College

Feel Your Faith Slipping? Get Your Rhythm Back.

Worried that your faith isn’t as strong as it was since coming to college? It happens all the time. The college lifestyle inevitably disrupts your old rhythms, including the ones that kept your faith vibrant. So if you feel like you’re starting to struggle, or would just like to avoid slipping in the first place, the solution is easy. All it takes is to make a new weekly rhythm around three things: worshiping, studying, and sharing.

1. Worship once a week

Every person was made for worship. The need for worship pulses within our psyche. So there is no question of if you’ll worship, but what you’ll worship.

Taking time once a week to worship the only thing worthy of worship – God – will help keep your mind and spirit attuned toward God and away from all the little false gods that vie for our focus and adoration. Little idols like popularity, parties, dating, sports, and yes, even academic success.

Find a local church or campus ministry you can attend once a week that worships God in song and prayer. It doesn’t have to be the most exciting worship. It just needs to be Christ-focused worship.

2. Study once a week

We can only follow God so much as know what kind of God we’re following. If I want to live into God’s plan for my life, I need to know God’s will first.

The sermons you hear in worship may be great, but it’s a general rule that we only remember 20% of what we hear. Yet when we are able to ask questions about what we hear, discuss what we hear, and make a personal plan to apply what we hear – the percentage of what we remember goes up exponentially. By meeting with a small group, bible study, or mentor once a week, we can study who God is and what God wants for us in a way that will really stick with our hearts.

3. Share once a week

We live in a highly compartmentalized culture, where it’s now normal to keep parts of our life completely separate from one another.

Yet God reigns of over all of existence and can’t be sectioned off to just a quiet, private corner of our life. In fact, the more we compartmentalize God – whether its intentionally or by accident – the less real God will feel. One of the best antidotes to compartmentalizing our faith is simply to share our faith. No, this doesn’t (and shouldn’t) mean handing out tracts outside of class or bible-thumping your roommate.

Sharing our faith is just spontaneously bringing God into our daily conversations. Outside of planned worship or study, we talk about how our faith might relate to our lives. Whether applied to relationships, friend groups, academic majors, current events, or politics, God will feel more real and relevant.

When you do this at least once a week, you’ll find that talking about Jesus even with your non-Christian friends isn’t some intimidating showdown, but a seamless and natural expression of your identity.

But how long?

You probably want to know that if you make these three things part of your weekly rhythm, how long it will take to start getting your faith back?

Honestly, you probably can’t get it back to the way it was, nor do you want to. God wants to change and mature your faith, so expect some growing pains to be part of the process too. Still, in my experience with our collegiate worshiping community, any student who sticks to this rhythm for a semester will begin to see God’s Spirit return to you in ways that will not only challenge you, but give you a true and beautiful hope again.

Cover Image Credit: A Pilgrim's Friend

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Faith Is A Swinging Bridge

Stepping off of solid ground can be intimidating, but our faith will keep us stable.

Lately I have felt like I am failing God. He has called me to do great things and I think about that all the time but I am not actively doing anything about it. It seems like my faith is always stronger at certain points in my life but during other times I seem to place God on the back burner. I have felt guilty about this but the truth is faith is like a rope bridge.

So first, God calls you to do something. Whether you are being called to third world countries or you are needed in your own city, you see where God is calling you and you start your journey. The first step on the bridge is shaky because it is not the solid ground you are used to. So you grab on to the sides. It is easy to cling to God when you are uncertain and you need extra support.

Then you get comfortable and you're able to walk freely. You can let go of the sides and walk on your own. So yes there are times when you are on your journey and you aren't relying on God as much as you were in the beginning.

But the wind picks up and the bridge is shaking and you are back clinging on to the sides even tighter than you were before. It is perfectly okay to grow closer to God when life is hard. God isn't going to hold the times when you were independent against you.

So whether you make it to the end of the bridge or you stop in the middle to take a break, you look back. You look back at how far you have come and you see that through shaky starts, confidence, and windy times you had your support system.

The bridge below your feet was always there. Yeah gripping on to the sides is helpful but imagine if there was nothing under your feet. Yes, it is important to read your Bible every day to have a relationship with God. But we shouldn’t beat ourselves up when we aren’t able to. There are so many other ways to have a relationship with God and it is important to incorporate that into our daily lives.

You look back and you see that whether you needed Him or not, God was there. You see that whether you were seeking God or not, he was there to help guide you. He is always there. When God calls us to do something we work so hard to get there but it is okay to take a break.

God wants us to take the time to stop in the middle of the bridge and look around at everything he has created. Maybe we need the time to stand still on the shaky bridge before we continue our journey.

The only thing that matters is that we do not turn around and return to the solid ground we first stepped off of.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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