The Freshmen Class

 

Photo by Washington School Inn
 
 
 
I realized that serving as a pastor on a college campus is like a double-edged sword. On one hand, there is a great sense of joy because I am able to meet a new batch of freshmen every year, as they start their college years. Then on the other hand, there is a great sense of sadness because you have to say bye to some of them after building a strong relationship for four years. It is truly bittersweet.

It definitely takes a certain type of personality to do this year after year. I am truly thankful for the privilege and the opportunity that God has given to me to influence and impact college students.

Over time, it has been good to see many of our students being placed all over the world and hearing about the difference they are making in their specific fields or vocations. Now, we are slowly seeing churches being started by our members; and we will see even more in the future, as we are pressing forward with the 2020 Vision.

This is why I was thrilled to meet up with our freshmen class yesterday. In God’s sovereignty, this is the largest freshmen class we have had in the history of our church. In fact, this class even doubles in size (and even possibly triples in size) of other previous freshmen classes. The freshmen class represents the poster child of the Generation Y. William Strauss and Neil Howe are social historians who have use 1982 and 2001 as the start and end years of the Generation Y. Therefore the freshmen and sophomore class are pretty representative of this generation.

We have a tradition in our church of having each freshmen class give themselves a name by the Undergraduate Retreat in October. This year’s freshmen class decided to call themselves as “Catalyst.”

In the Cambridge Dictionary, it simply defines “catalyst” as, “a condition, event, or person that is the cause of an important change.” If our name is supposed to be our destiny, then how exciting it would be to see how God will use this class to be the “cause of an important change” in our generation, throughout all the nations.

After introducing myself to this class, we talked about a lot of things ranging from how I proposed to Christina to other church related things. I encouraged and exhorted them to use their time in college to gain God’s heart by getting discipled, making good decisions, and committing to the local church. Then, as time passes by, they will be able to “connect the dots” and see how God is powerfully working in their lives.

I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for them.

One thing unique about this class is that they will be the only class who will have the most amount of years to fulfill the 2020 Vision. This is a great privilege. But with great privilege comes great responsibility. If the Catalyst class are united and are committed to the spreading of God’s Kingdom throughout the nations, then they can be the “world shakers and history makers” in their generation, just like many other generations who have gone before them.