Coming up with some advice for graduating high school seniors is a very practical exercise for me. Marcie and I still have 3 kids in school and next year our oldest, Justice, will be a senior. So we are in the middle of ACT scores and freaking out over how expensive college is! On top of all of this we have seniors leaving our church family every year to head off to college. I care about these young adults and therefore I thought I would jot down a few words of advice for them.
- Get involved in a local church. To grow spiritually you are going to need to hear regular preaching, spend time with people who are outside of your 18-22 age bracket, and be encouraged by a church that is close to your college campus. If you want to see how passionate the apostle Paul felt regarding the local church go HERE.
- Stay away from the party scene. Here is what you need to know. You are not missing anything by avoiding drinking, drugs and jumping from one dating relationship to another. I have personal experience in this area and I can tell you that you will end up much happier if you keep your eyes on Christ and keep the right perspective regarding these temporal pleasures.
- Make a point of deepening your daily walk with Christ. Buy an excellent study Bible. Set up a regular time that you read your Bible and pray. These spiritual disciplines are absolutely critical for your Christian faith.
- Be a light for Christ on your campus. Don’t merely try to survive college. God has placed you there to be his ambassador. Be looking to build relationships. Open up your heart and love others. Don’t be afraid to share your faith. Look for students who are struggling and encourage them.
- Get connected with a Christian ministry on campus. CRU and Intervarsity are a couple excellent examples of college ministries that will provide the support you need. Now let’s circle back to my first piece of advice, a good college ministry will be the first to tell you how important it is to be involved in a local church.
- Think hard about your passions, dreams, and what you really enjoy doing. God has created you with specific gifts, abilities and talents. Don’t just think about how college can prepare you for a job. Be thinking about what you truly want to do and how you can make a difference in the world. Jesus did not say that life has to be one long grind. Instead, Jesus told us this in John 10:10, “I came so that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”
- Don’t let the world define what “success” is all about. Life is not primarily about making money, career advancement, and making a name for yourself. You may have all of those things but there is a greater mission that you are being called to. How is your life and career going to help build the kingdom of God? Francis Chan put it like this, “Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.”
Picture taken from statisticbrainresearchinstitutedotcom