How to Spiritually Prepare for College

How to Spiritually Prepare for College

How to Spiritually Prepare for College
By Pastor Nick Mance

 

For many families this time of year is filled with anticipation and stress. Anticipation because summer is coming, and that means planning for vacations, no school, camps, relaxation, and family time. Stress because it means planning—but planning of a different nature for some families.

For families of high school seniors, this time of year can be especially hard because you are dealing with sending out one of your children to go to school or to begin the next step in their lives after high school. You are releasing your student into a whole new phase of life, and with this can come many unknowns. Will they continue in their faith? Will they make wise choices? Will they wake up on time? Will they eat more than Ramen and Tastykakes? We can’t offer you any advice on how to manage their eating habits, but we can give you some ways to help your student prepare spiritually for college. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but is meant more to foster and develop conversations that are ongoing.

  • Spend time checking in on your student’s spiritual health. Ask them what they have been reading in God’s Word, what they have been learning from CORE or Sunday services. Ask them how you can be praying for them. Spend time walking through God’s Word with them.
  • Talk about the importance of finding a church. Not in a legalistic approach, but in a manner to help your student understand the benefits of a church home and the community it provides. Talk about the important factors to consider like doctrinal truths, and what they are looking for in a church. Understand that their views may differ on minor issues like worship style or preaching style, but ultimately make sure it is a doctrinally sound church.
  • Talk through expectations about what your relationship will look like as your student transitions to adulthood. They will be responsible for many of their own decisions now. This changes some of your relationship, but it doesn’t mean you stop being their parent. You can allow for them to stretch and grow, but you can also intentionally connect and follow up with them.
  • As you visit the school(s) your student is interested in or going to, find out what churches are nearby and what Christian groups operate on campus. Campus Ministry Link is an amazing resource that allows you to check what college ministries operate on the college campus you are looking at. It is easy and free to set up an account, and then you can search for any college. The list isn’t exhaustive, but it is a great starting point.
  • Help your student get connected with 18.24 at Hershey Free. This is our college ministry, and our leaders love to care for students, walk through life’s struggles, apply the Bible to their lives, and they also send care packages and spiritual encouragement throughout the year to our student body. This community will be a place of safety and support for your student, and allow for retention of friendships and community within their home church.
  • Here are several great resources for you and your student to walk through leading up to their going to college:

Our prayer is that these give you helpful ways to engage in conversations with your student as they begin this transition and that it helps to prepare them for their next phase of life.


Comments

  1. Brad Epps Says: March 25, 2019 at 3:39 pm

    Thanks Nick! Outstanding information!

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