Posted by: judy | January 8, 2009

Profile of a Christian College Student

college-studentsPerhaps you have not had the opportunity to grab a cup of coffee at Starbucks with a college student lately. In order to understand the necessity and urgency to minister to this group of passionate young adults and confront the deception which is bombarding their often tender faith and passionate desire to make a difference; one must understand who they are, what they want, what excites them, and what breaks their hearts.

 

Meet the average Christian College student — age 18-22ish.

This young adult is either a product of public or private education, or perhaps a product of a homeschooling family. They may or may not come from a Christian home.   

Typically, this college student has been a part of a youth fellowship group of some sort, been on a mission trip in the US or abroad; attended winter retreats, spring retreats, and summer camp. They have been taught to be relational and seek mentors and/or accountability partners. They have been taught that even their faith is relationally based. This means not necessarily doctrinally-based or even Scripturally-based.

Sometime during their formulative years in their Church high school youth group or college fellowship they have been influenced by trained leaders from parachurch organizations such as:

Youth for Christ, Campus Crusade for Christ, Youth Specialties, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, or Coalition for Christian Outreach {Jubilee}, Catalyst

They have either read on their own or been a part of small discipleship groups which study the theology of:

Mike Yachanelli, Richard Foster, Rob Bell, Leonard Sweet, Andy Crouch, Henri Nouwen, Brennan Manning, Maya d’Angelou, Brian McLaren, Tony Campola, Donald Miller, and many others.

Vocabulary which describes their faith and focus of  their energy:

authentic, transforming, social justice, mission, tolerant, cultural diversity, community, culturally relevant, contextual ministry, broken, kingdom work, and intentional.

A few of the things that breaks their heart:

hypocrisy, mediocrity, pain & suffering around the world, the sin of their friends, lack of community, spiritual non-growth in themselves and in their friends’, apathy, and economic disparity.

So take what we now know about a Christian college student and give them a teacher who can energize an auditorium, who personally ‘walks the talk’; acknowledges the apathy of their parents’ church, speaks to their heart’s desire, eases their guilty participation in economic disparity and offers a godly, global solution that involves their participation and promises to change the world ~~

~~voila an emerging Christian College Student is born~~.

It is a faith deceived which becomes selfishly focused on their own ‘spiritual’ needs, their personal ‘walk’, and their ‘faith-experiences.’ It is a theology which is man-centered.

This is the open window, the unguarded mind, the heart-hearing believer who welcomes false & deceptive teaching. 

For a time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth.”(2Timothy 4:3)

 

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