What Is It With College Kids & The Church?

Ben Terry shares some great insight about college students and the church and the widening gap that seems to be there. I HIGHLY recommend all students to read this very insightful post and seriously think through what it means to be a Christ Follower PLUGGED into a local church while in college, not just ATTENDING one.

Many college students are heading back to their beloved universities this week, and I cannot help but ask the age-old question that has plagued the church for years:

“What is it with college kids and the church?”

As someone who has recently graduated from college, it still dumbfounds me as to how there is a great disconnect between college kids and their involvement in the church. Even during my time at the University of Georgia, I never grasped the importance of being a member in a local church. I remember numerous people instructing me the importance of finding a church, but the key problem was that I didn’t understand why I needed to be until later down the road.

In a 2007 study, Lifeway Research determined that 70% of young Protestant adults between 18-22 stop attending church regularly.

Why is this?

In large, I believe that most college students grow up in ungospel-centered churches that are failing to equip the people of the church. Therefore, once they reach college they have a misunderstanding of what a church is and isn’t causing a reaction where they either quit church or unconsciously create their own student-led church with other college students by calling it “their community” and “ministry”.

Rapidly growing in the college scene is more and more kids getting involved in non-church based “parachurch” evangelistic organizations that usually replaces their activity in a church. I myself was even involved in these type of ministries and I love their mission for reaching people with the Gospel of Christ, but these ministries cannot be your church. Many of our parachurch evangelistic mission organizations perhaps unconsciously encourage a situation in which meaningful involvement in local congregations is next to impossible. However, the Bible makes it very clear that as followers of Christ we are told to be active members of a local church. Jesus established the church to be a public, earthly institution that would mark out, affirm, and oversee those who profess to believe in him (Matt. 16:18-19, 18:15-20).



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