College Students: Commit Yourself To The Local Church - Radical

College Students: Commit Yourself To The Local Church

They called it “Get On Board Day” at my school. One day each fall, all the campus organizations, clubs, interest groups, and ministries would line up table to table along the sidewalks of one of the university’s busiest bottlenecks. Pamphlets in hand, the table representatives would make every effort to convince any wide-eyed freshman who walked by that their thing was worth joining. And they succeeded often. The community-less freshmen made for a stocked pond, eagerly trading their email addresses for the cheap bait of plastic frisbees, coozies, and clicking pens. Each year countless freshmen would over-commit and under-deliver.

Why Should You Commit Yourself To The Local Church?

However, a handful of these groups were not like the others. These were the local churches. I would encourage any incoming freshmen to linger long at their tables. Free pen or not, they are worthy of your email address and more. College students, here is why you should commit yourself to a solid local church.

Jesus chose the church.

In Matthew 16:18, Jesus tells Peter, “I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Jesus loves the church, his people, in a very special way; for proof, look no further than the cross (Eph 5:25). There are some great campus ministries out there that God is using in mighty ways. But he uniquely promised to build and sustain his church. There will come a day when Christian clubs are no more. But the church will never fail. Why would you not commit yourself to the thing that Jesus himself instituted and promised would endure?

You need the local church.

College is a trying time in many regards. Temptations are abundant, time is scarce, and pressure is high. This is precisely why you need the grounding and accountability of regular corporate worship in a community of believers who are committed to loving each other. And while there are campus ministries that seem to fit this bill, there are some non-negotiables that make a local church distinct – communion, baptism, a pastor who is accountable to God for his flock, and the wisdom of multiple generations, just to name a few.

The church needs you.

Though our individualistic culture would tell you otherwise, college isn’t just about doing what’s good for you. Think of the void that would exist in churches if everyone between the ages of 17 and 23 left. Local churches need the energy and zeal of the college crowd; your perspective is invaluable. Also – and this may sound obvious, but – you are in the best position to reach your ampus with the gospel. This is the work of the church, and it happens best through its student members. Without you, the church would be incomplete, and its mission would be hindered.

To sum it all up, at “Get on Board Day” you may have to pass by some really inciting tables in order to feast at the table of the local church… but you’ll be satisfied by far more than cheap bait if you do.

Jonathan Lenning is the General Manager of Sales at Cottage Supply Company in Birmingham, Alabama. He previously worked on staff at Radical.

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