College is tough. With the pressure of getting good grades, meeting new friends, and trying to get involved on campus, it is tough to grapple with it all. While trying to balance all of that, you need to find a church that provides you with the Word of God each week and keeps you faithful.
As a college student myself, I struggled with this task when first coming to college. Where do I start? Is there an LCMS church around me? How am I going to get there when I don’t have a car on campus? All of these questions are valid. First, take a deep breath and say a prayer to God. He will lead you in the right direction.
A great place to start is research. I researched some churches in the area and found several that were LCMS. If you check the LCMS website, there is a church locator where you can easily find a church in your college town. Luckily, I found one that was within walking distance from my resident hall. Going to a different church can be scary at first. You do not know anyone in the congregation. You may not want to sit by yourself either. But you are a child of God. They will accept you for you who are and welcome you with open arms. Introduce yourself to the pastor and have a conversation with him about your congregation at home, your journey with God, or how you are adjusting to college. The church is there for you.
If there are not any churches in walking distance and you happen to be without a mode of transportation, look into student organizations that do Bible studies. See if you can get a ride to church and also get plugged in to a study on campus. There are college students all over the United States who look to God as a foundation. We all need the Gospel in our daily life.
Connecting with God at college leads you to connecting with other students who think and share similar values with you. This makes the transition easier into independence away from your family back at home. When you are struggling in school and your faith may be low, having those friends in faith will help encourage you in different ways. They may be your study buddy for that tough biology test, or they may listen to you practice a presentation and give you feedback. They are also there to rely on.
College is a huge adjustment. Homesickness is a real thing at school, and you may get lonely at times. From Isaiah 41, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (v. 10). These words are truth. In your lowest times, God is there to give you strength. He will help you get up even when you feel as if the world is keeping you down. He gives you the determination and the drive to succeed. He is always there for you.
College students learn a lot about themselves in their time at school. However, with God’s guidance, you will stay true to your faith. Without God in our lives, we are lost. We are sinners in need of forgiveness. With God, we have forgiveness in Christ and will always have someone to help us through all of life's changes.
Stay focused on Christ during college with College 101: A Christian Survival Guide.