Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Christian starting Uni?

You are about to enter what is described as the "best years of your life". I can agree to this, yet there are many Christians that go to uni and fall away. Other things become a priority, the uni life of getting drunk, sex and even being under pressure to get that first class degree.

What we most praise we will prize. If your hearts praises the above things then God and church will slip from your life. Perhaps think about this before you start Uni or if you are starting another year at Uni and know that God wasn't at the center of all that you are doing. Are you going to praise and prize Jesus above everything? Is Jesus worth more then anything that Uni offers you? Are you prepared to be a missionary on campus - being light and salt to your hall mates and course mates?

I was thinking about ways that you may find helpful. Here are 10 things that may help you continue the race as a Christian on Campus.

1. Get stuck into Church. Try to choose a church quickly to avoid being stuck 6 months later with church hopping. The truth is that there isn't a perfect church, so you have two ways you can approach getting stuck into church and one of them will lead you to nowhere...
a) Find a church that serves you and feeds you.
b) Find a church that you can love and serve.
Church is so important, its your family and community, we are not individuals in Christ, we are a church. Think carefully about what the church teaches - if its not from the bible, I wouldn't bother going.

2. Get to know your hall mates. This is essential. Spend time with them, hang out with them and build relationships. You have a whole year with them and you may want to live with them next year. Share Jesus with them with being honest about what you do and how you live. It doesn't mean you have to go out getting drunk with them, but you can hang out with them and be a witness.

3. Get stuck into Christian Union. The Christian Union is a wonderful place to meet new Christians on campus, to be inspired and encouraged by older Christians and to be equipped for mission on campus. It is not so much as a social club, but a place to be encouraged and equipped to reach out to your non christian friends.
*Christian bubble ALERT* - be careful not to be warped into a Christian bubble. This is dangerous, you will spend all your time with Christians and christian music, books and theology. None of which are bad, but if that's all you do then you are in danger of never being able to reach your non christian friends because you are to wrapped up in the safety of your Christian bubble.

4. Join other societies. Don't just do CU events, the CU should be enabling you to join other societies so you can reach out to them with the Gospel. Therefore find something you are interested in and join the group and make friends! Keep going to their events.

5. Go to your classes. It is tempting to skip classes for several reasons - missions week, feeling tired, can't be bothered etc... they are not excuses! Its important to get to know your class mates and build relationships with them - you will be with them for 3/4 years, which gives you amazing opportunities! Plus you are here to do a degree, you can work for Jesus by being studious on your course.

6. Eat Well and Sleep. It is tempting for your first few months to survive off pizza, junk food and as little sleep as possible. University is exciting but you might die before you finish it with that lifestyle. Learn how to cook, get someone to teach you and eat lots of fruit and veg. Also get sleep - you will need it, esp the older you get!!

7. Invite friends to church or CU or Alpha. This may seem scary but in the first few weeks of Uni, anyone will go to anything because they want to try everything. So why not invited them to Church, CU or Alpha? Get them thinking and asking questions. They may be more open to Jesus than you think!

8. Make friends with internationals. You may have lots of international students on your course or in your halls. Why not invite them for dinner or sit next to them in class? Its scary being away from home and not having English as your first language. Just because they are "different" to you shouldn't be an excuse. Building friendships with them will be a wonderful way to share English culture and their culture.

9. Be accountable to/be mentored. I would recommend finding an older Christian that you can either be accountable to or be mentored. I was mentored as first year and I think without it I may of wondered away a bit. Its a great opportunity to ask lots of questions and study the bible. Perhaps there is a Relay worker or Staff worker to meet up with? I use to make Dave Bish meet up with me for coffee and I asked him loads of questions!! Its worth doing.

10. Read and Pray. When I say read, its good to read anyways, but I mean read the bible. Try to find a time in the day where you can read your bible and find out more about Jesus. It may be hard at first but it will be like honey to your soul. Learn to be disciplined in prayer, see that talking to the creator of the universe is a good thing and a wonderful gift that we can do. See God work in many ways in your life, seek Him and continue running the race.

I hope you find these helpful. Don't feel like you *have* to do these things out of duty, but enjoy Uni and the people you meet and the conversations you have. It will be scary and exciting and totally worth it.


samzie said...

Really good advice, and just what I needed to hear, especially about the international student...its easy to get wrapped up in yourself and forget how others are feeling

Marcus said...

Great post Cat. Enjoying your blog. Best wishes, Marcus Honeysett