I was recently reading the newsletter from a staffer with Campus Crusade for Christ and she told the story of one young college student that she had recently met. In telling her story, the staffer explained an all too typical experience for young college students. She wrote, “Lynn grew up going to church, but she never really understood it. To her, it was all chanting, standing up, sitting down, and listening to things that didn’t make much sense. When she came to college, she could stop going to church on Sunday morning and start pursuing things she thought would be more fun.”
My question is: For what are we preparing? The overwhelming majority of the students here at DUMC will leave home upon graduation to enter college. Are we simply concerned that you develop good study habits so your focus remains totally on academic achievement? Do we care about spiritual development and the plans God has for the lives of DUMC students over the next four to five years or does everyone get a pass with little spiritual expectations because, “that’s just how it is at college?”
I would like to think that what we are doing in the here and now matters; and that it will translate into fruit through the power of the Holy Spirit so that students leave this place with a passion to live for the Lord. To do this, students must form a “Devotional Life.” I see some students who are clearly devoted to music. Others are obviously devoted to athletics. Many of our students are devoted to academic achievement. Some are even devoted to a boyfriend or girlfriend. These four devotions, to name a few, are being fostered in the homes of our students. But what about a devotion to Christ and the life that he desires for each of us?
We have to work to make sure that we hold sacred what is sacred, for example Scripture, the Cross, etc, and at the same time we must provide an environment that makes God relevant to the next generation. I was thinking about this while reading 1 Chronicles recently. David was telling Solomon to remain in the Lord, but David did not say “this is exactly how it has to be done.” Perhaps David knew that the ways in which Solomon worshiped and lived a God-infused life would look different than it did for David.
Simply playing church leads to the perspective that I read in the CCC staffer’s newsletter. I know that a student will be best equipped to make the right decisions when faced with the situations that life has in store when he or she develops a “Devotional Life” in which he or she is devoted to Jesus Christ above all of those smaller devotions.