All through high school I went to church with my family every Sunday, and each Sunday I went to youth group. On Wednesday nights during the fall, I was back at church again for small group meetings called MPACT. It felt like I was always in church, which was fine because I liked it and needed all the guidance I could get.
Once I graduated high school though, I stopped going down to youth group. I went to the main service like I always did, but never went to anything geared towards college students. It wasn’t because my church didn’t have anything, but because I was stubborn. I thought since I had graduated school, I had graduated from needing youth groups in my life. After all, I was an adult now (please note the sarcasm).
After a semester, when I was away at a public college, I realized that my faith could not be self-sustaining. I was drowning in a lot of personal self-doubt and depression. Nothing major, but something that I never experienced when my faith was strong.
When I transferred to a school closer to home I began commuting and was convinced to attend my church’s young adult ministry called C4. It was almost the same as youth group, but instead with other college students who knew what I was going through. While I didn’t talk to many people, it was nice simply knowing that I had a place to go to grow in my faith.
Recently, I was convinced by a friend to start attending C4 on Sundays as well and I was exposed to a whole new level of learning. Unlike Tuesday sessions, which has a speaker we sit and listen to, on Sundays we talk through what we are learning in the main service at church. We are given the opportunity to voice our opinions, hear others' thoughts, ask questions, and learn how to interpret the Bible for ourselves.
It’s a place where differences of opinions, like ones of politics or theology, are allowed to be voiced without judgement. It’s a place where I’ve learned how to take what I’m reading in the Bible and apply it to my own life.
Attending C4 was one of the best choices I made in my faith journey.
Most college students think they have it all together (or at least they act like they do), but really they don’t.
I was one of those people.
I thought that once I graduated I was strong enough and smart enough to make it on my own. (In more ways than one.)
That couldn’t have been farther from the truth. I need my family, my friends, my church if I’m going to continue growing as a person and as a Christian. I need the community that church ministries offer.
I may be an adult, but I haven’t outgrown “youth” groups.