Attending a Christian college can provide an environment for spiritual growth. With floor Bible studies, daily chapel, Bible classes, and Christians all around, it may seem unnecessary to attend an off-campus church service. However, the local church is vital to your spiritual formation during this season of life. Read on to discover why a church community plays an indispensable role in your college experience.

Diversity Strengthens Faith

College campuses are filled with people who are mostly the same age and going through similar stages of life. Engaging with the broader community of a local church provides an opportunity to interact with a more diverse group of people. Ideally, you’ll encounter individuals of various ages, races, social and economic backgrounds, life stages, and political leanings. These differences challenge your thinking and help you grow. The church is usually made up of both the old and the young, providing an opportunity to benefit from the wisdom of those who are further along in life’s journey (Job 12:12; Prov. 16:31) and the example of children (Luke 18:15-17).

A Church community in corporate worship developing spiritual growth for Christian College
Wood blocks with crosses signifying a church community

Church Authority and Accountability

Committing to a church body means choosing to be known and allowing others into your life. It also means placing yourself under the authority of the church body’s teaching and leadership as long as it aligns with God’s Word. While it may be uncomfortable to be exposed to teaching that rubs you the wrong way, this is healthy and constructive for your spiritual growth and development.

Listening to sermon podcasts allows you to keep your “pet teachers” within reach and shut off episodes you don’t like. However, consistent teaching from God’s Word from a steady source has the potential to enhance your accountability and follow-through, especially if you allow yourself to go deep in relationships with other members of the local gathering.

Discipline in Church Attendance

It’s easy to think that attending church regularly is something you’ll pick up later in life, but developing that discipline now will make it easier down the road. This is the perfect time to make a lifelong commitment to pursuing Jesus with a community of other believers. You can decide to attend church every week, or you can make a one-time, solid decision to attend consistently and not have to wrestle with the question anymore.

While worshiping God in nature or with people outside of the church may seem more appealing, it’s essential to remember that the decision to attend church is not based on your feelings but on the belief that Jesus is worthy of your efforts to seek Him fully.

Godward Orientation through Corporate Worship

Corporate worship is unique because it reminds us that life is not about ourselves or the group gathered but about God. Corporate worship is unique because it reminds us that life is not about ourselves or the group gathered but about God. When the Church – His body and His bride – comes together intentionally to give God focused attention, it brings joy and satisfaction that cannot be replicated or bought.

While God may not always break into our lives during these moments, sometimes He does, and it changes us. Psalms 73 illustrates how gathering in the context of church community can bring clarity and perspective. We encounter Jesus, and we are powerfully transformed!

Furthermore, being part of a local church provides opportunities to serve and give back to the community. There are often ministries and outreach programs that allow you to use your gifts and talents to make a difference in the lives of others. Serving in a local church can also help you develop skills in leadership, communication, and teamwork that will serve you well beyond college.

Participating in a Church Community

Lastly, being part of a church community can provide a sense of belonging and connection that is essential for your emotional and mental well-being. College can be a challenging time, and having a support system in place can make all the difference. Being surrounded by a group of people who share your faith and values can provide a sense of comfort and security that is hard to find elsewhere.

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