The new adventure of college-life leaves many Christians asking themselves a difficult question: Do I really have to be around other Christians to practice my faith?
Many people will say no. They’d say as long as you open your bible and pray in your dorm room, you’re good.
But missing out on Christian community causes two main problems.
First, even with all the excitement of starting college, the years in school are challenging. Sure it’s cool to have control over your own decisions and take more responsibility for your life, but living away from home can also feel isolating and a bit overwhelming at times.
In one survey, 63.1 percent of students said they felt “very lonely” in the prior year, and only 20 percent said that they never felt lonely at college.
Christians aren’t excused from this statistic, and a reliable Christian community can support you when those feelings of loneliness start to creep in.
But there’s a second, even bigger problem with avoiding Christian community.
Christians weren’t made to do life alone. God created us with a desire for community, and you can see evidence of this throughout his Word.
A Biblical Case for Community
Here’s the thing: the Bible never speaks of Christianity as a solo project, and you won’t find any bedroom Christians in the Old or New Testament.
In fact, Jesus didn’t even do his ministry alone. He brought along a rag-tag group of misfits in all his travels. After his ascension, those misfits followed his lead, partnering with others as they spread the Gospel throughout the nations.
As the church grew, the leaders encouraged and participated in community. Acts 2 says they broke bread and fellowshipped together. They prayed for one another and even shared their resources.
This type of community amongst God’s people happened long before the New Testament, though. The Old Testament speaks about it, too.
Moses couldn’t handle the pressure of leadership alone, so God provided him with help. David and Jonathan give us a picture of deep friendship, and David even writes a Psalm on the richness of community:
How good and pleasant it is
when God’s people live together in unity! – Psalm 133:1
Community with fellow believers has always been an important part of the people of God, and it’s especially important during your college years as God continues to shape you into the person he has created you to be.
Finding Christian Community
One of the scariest things about getting involved in a Christian community is starting out. Walking into a new church or small group without knowing anyone can intimidate even the bravest of extroverts.
So where do you start?
I’ve got a few ideas to get you started, but this list is hardly exhaustive. You might try to…
- Look at the “Student Life” or “Campus Life” section of your school’s website to see if they have any Christian clubs or organizations.
- Reach out to the Student Life staff directly.
- Google “christian college groups near me.”
- Ask your hometown pastor for recommendations on a church near campus.
You can also utilize the Every Student Sent platform to get even better results. Every Student Sent allows you to set up or join Campus-specific groups to get to know each other, grow together, and ultimately form Gospel-centered Community.
Whether you find a college ministry, bible study, or on-campus fellowship group, you’ll get a chance to walk with other Christians through the exciting years ahead. Many local churches near college campuses also have young adult ministries with pastors who focus on ministering to college students.
No matter what you decide let me make one thing clear: it’s going to feel scary. New people and new situations always are.
But finding Christian community is worth it. If you can push through the awkward hellos and the “Hi my name is…” conversation starters, you will find people you can do life with throughout your time at college.
God created you with a desire for other people. You don’t have to do this alone. Christian communities exist to serve you during this time of your life, and they’re ready to take you in.