I was refreshed this week as I met up with some of our church members. One conversation in particular stuck out for me. As I was meeting with the member, we talked about going through various lifestages; and he shared some of his perspective on “how” he decided to go through the transition for this coming year.
As I was listening, I was blessed to hear some of the steps he was going to implement in his transition. It was impressive because in all my years doing ministry on a college campus, I have not heard too many people with this kind of perspective.
There are so many college students who graduate and enter into the “working world” and then struggle in their spiritual lives. The natural thing to do for many of them is to blame someone; therefore, they usually end up blaming the church or a leader or a discipler for their spiritual downfall.
In some ways, the church leadership should be humble and take some responsibility by asking, “Did we prepare our members adequately to engage the culture and continue in their spiritual journey of absolute surrender to Christ?” Maybe this question is more out of my perfectionistic tendencies, but regardless, this is something that we have to address.
In fact, I have told students that the best litmus test is the vacations within the year (Winter Break, Spring Break, and Summer Break). During these breaks, we will get a glimpse of who we really are and how things might look like once we graduate. It is pretty sobering for the students but the truth must be told (and bluntly).
Without all the structures and meetings, the students are then left with their personal relationship with Christ. If this is something that they do not develop while they are in college, then when they become single adults, with all its temptations, distractions, and difficulties, then it is pretty certain that they will struggle (and even play the blame game).
So what did the member say?
He mentioned three things:
2) Don’t be passive. This coming year was going to be the hardest for him due to all his studies and busyness in his calling. Even his mentors have mentioned that it was the toughest year in terms of their calling. Therefore, if people are not proactive in growing spiritually then they will go on a downward spiral. Nothing totally enlightening but the truth slaps you in the face. How many of us have grown spiritual by being passive? Some people think it is their “right” for God to cause them to grow spiritually without doing anything. I think they have to re-read Philippians 2:12.
3) Be prepared and have the proper perspective. When we know that something is coming our way, we are able to better prepare ourselves. So often people get blindsided because they were not prepared and no one told them about the things that were to come. There are so many people who have gone before us (on the same journey) therefore it is critical that we learn from others and then take the proper steps to be faithful. Things will not be easy. In fact, as we get older, life only gets harder. This is why in each lifestage we have to make sure that we learn the principles well, so that when we get ready to go to the next stage, we will be ready by God’s grace.