This week my youngest son Taylor headed off to his senior year in college. He choose to go to a Christian College and I am so grateful that he did. I read recently in James Emery White’s Church & Culture that according to recent studies, almost half of all American college students will abandon their Christian faith during their undergraduate years. Isn’t that alarming? One Half.
The reason why? It would seem to be far more than simple rebellion against an upbringing, or honest intellectual exploration. It would seem the school environment itself is the culprit.
The Fuller Youth Institute found that almost a third of college students say their school of higher learning is not helpful in keeping or growing their faith. Most universities would say that examining one’s faith in an intellectually stimulating environment such as a college or university should lead to a deeper understanding of the theological moorings of a childhood faith. But that’s not what is happening.
According to the research of political scientists Robert P. Putnam and David E. Campbell, “Young Americans are dropping out of religion at an alarming rate of five to six times the historical rate (30 to 40 percent have no religion today, verses 5 to 10 percent a generation ago).”
Another study found with each year of education, there is a 15% increase that the student will believe that there’s “truth in more than one religion” and believe in a “higher power” rather than a personal God.
This is why we are so committed to our college age ministry, Encounter. This week alone Dr. Jeff Burnett and his dedicated group of volunteers helped incoming freshman move in, are hosting two back to school barbeques, an event at Hays Academy of Hair Design , a free screening of “God’s Not Dead” after FHSU’s back to school picnic, and a kick off of HomeCookin’, a free home cooked meal for college kids that is provided by one of C3’s small groups every Sunday night. THERE IS NO OTHER COLLEGE MINISTRY I KNOW THAT SERVES AS SELFLESSLY AS ENCOUNTER!
So this week, as you pack up your son or daughter off to college, give them one last word of advice. Not about binge drinking or safe sex, money management or proper nutrition. These are all well and good, to be sure. But give them advise that is most important. Give them a word about the importance of keeping their grounded faith in the Lord and Savior of the world Jesus Christ. And tell them to seek out a church like C3 that will care for them like they are their own.
Your pastor and partner in ministry,
(Just some of the Encounter Leadership team)
We still need a few volunteers to help with Saturdays’ KidFest.
Contact DeLynn Rice firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help.
Prayer Request: Our thoughts and prayers are with Lavon Weber who lost her 91 year old mother on Wednesday.