Exhortations for Christian Upperclassmen

With move in day approaching and another long school year in front of us, it is important to be thinking about the ways you intend on serving Christ at the beginning of the semester. This is what every Christian ought to generally be thinking through, but it is particularly helpful for college students to think through as they prepare to get back on campus where there are literally thousands of people that they will be rubbing shoulders with. With that said, I want to challenge Christian upperclassmen in the following ways:

Be committed to helping your campus ministry engage students the first 6-8 weeks of school.

The first 6-8 weeks of the fall semester are incredibly important in the life of a college ministry. It is non-stop grueling work that is filled with both encouragement and discouragement. We meet tons of people, we get many contacts, we establish many meetings, we get rejected a ton, and we see some students interested in hearing about Christ, studying the Bible, discipleship, attending church, etc. Therefore, college ministries need a ton of help, and college students that are a part of the ministry are the most helpful! Therefore, deny yourself, pick up your cross, and dedicate the first weeks of the semester to laboring alongside of the campus ministry that you are a part of.
  • Help with move in day.
  • Help with certain campus events dedicated to promoting the ministry.
  • Help with contacting and meeting up with certain new people.
  • Help give rides to church.
  • Reach out to the new people that attend church to make them feel comfortable.

Be committed to befriending incoming freshmen for the sake of winning them to Christ and the local church.

As an upperclassman, you will inevitably have influence on freshmen students. Freshmen will come in and they will be looking for friends to hang out with and they will be looking for leaders to follow. Therefore, leverage your influence on particular freshmen in order to win them to Christ and also to the local church. Therefore, deny yourself, pick up your cross, and dedicate the first weeks of the semester to befriending freshmen in order to establish a relationship where relational evangelism and discipleship will flourish.
  • Ask a freshmen to make a cookout run with you.
  • Ask them if you can show them your favorite coffee shop
  • Ask them if they want to go running or work out with you.
  • Just intentionally become friends with freshmen.

Be committed to evangelizing people of campus. . . .especially freshmen.

College is one of the most fruitful fields of harvest for evangelistic endeavors. Students are open to exploring many different things, including Christianity. Therefore, deny yourself, pick up your cross, look at the many lost people walking on campus, and intentionally dedicate time to evangelizing people on your college campus.
  • Think about how you could do this before or after class.
  • Think about how you could do this at the gym
  • Think about how you could do this in intramurals.
  • Think about how you could do this in your dorm, suite, or apartment.
  • Think about how you could do this in the quad.
  • Think about how you could do this in the cafeteria or student union.

Be committed to establishing a discipleship relationship with a friend that you met last year from the ministry.

Christ commanded his followers to make disciples. This is something that college students are not exempt from. Rather, if you are a college student that is in Christ, Christ commands you to make disciples. Therefore, deny yourself, pick up your cross, and establish a discipleship relationship with another Christian (particularly one that goes to the same local church as you).
  • Ask them if they want to meet weekly or biweekly in order to pray and read the Bible with you.
  • Ask them if they would want to meet up to pray and read a good Christian book with you.
  • Ask them if they would want to meet up weekly in order to pray and go over the sermon from the previous Sunday.

Be committed to inviting people to the campus ministry’s annual fall retreat.

The annual fall retreat is a big deal in the college ministry because it presents an opportunity at the beginning of the semester for students to spend a weekend together doing many things like hiking, recreation, eating, riding in a car, and, most importantly, listening to teachings from the Bible that are gospel focused. Most students, after going on the fall retreat, end up faithfully attending church and the campus specific Bible studies. Therefore, deny yourself, take up your cross, and invite some of the people that you meet to go on the annual fall retreat with you.
  • Ask them if they would want to attend this. If they express any interest, then continue to follow up with them.
  • If the financial aspect is keeping them from going, then be willing to, if you are able, pay for them to go. 

And, after these first weeks on campus, reevaluate how you intend on glorifying God by making much of Christ throughout the rest of the school year!


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