Friday, May 21

The Spiritual Life of Young Adults

The last worship time of the year is almost always one of the best. Our tradition at Christ on Campus is to give students who are graduating the opportunity to share what God has done in their lives during their time at the University of Arkansas. It is probably my favorite week of the year as we get to hear stories of changed hearts, changed lives, and changed visions.

This year was no exception. Several students shared during the service. They came from Illinois to Mississippi to California to Georgia, as well as from Peru and South Korea and England. Some had grown up going to church all of their lives. Others had never stepped into a church until they arrived at the UofA. Some shared about the darkness and hopelessness they had felt in life until they came to know Christ and the joy and life he brings. Some talked about the disappointment they had felt with churches or Christians and their renewed commitment to and excitement about their relationship with God. Others talked about how God had changed their vision for their lives and how excited they were to serve him and make a difference where they were with the gifts that he has given them.

It is the kind of day that reminds me of why I love campus ministry and why I have done this for 28 years - and will continue to do this until God tells me to quit. Changed lives and changed hearts. A vision of being used by God to touch the world - not just in a distant land but wherever God puts them in their career.

Some recent articles have come out that don't shed a positive light on the spiritual life of young adults. A recent article in USA Today starts off:

"Most young adults today don't pray, don't worship and don't read the Bible a major survey by a Christian research firm shows. If the trend continues, 'the Millennial generation will see churches closing as quickly as GM dealerships.'"

However, another article that recently appeared the Leadership Journal starts off this way:

"If you want to rile up church leaders, drag out dubious statistics about how many Christians fall away from the faith after high school. We fear for our youth, that they'll rebel against what their parents and churches taught when they leave home and the youth group. But what if we're wrong? What if our particular fears about 'emerging adulthood,' the period between the ages of 18 and 29, are unfounded?"

There are difficult times for Christians on university campuses. But that's not the whole story. God is still changing lives on college campuses. And God is still raising up leaders for his Kingdom who will make a difference in the generation to come.

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