Friday, October 4, 2013

Why Do Students Ditch Their Faith in College?

All of us who do youth, College Ministry, or pastor a church trying to reach young adults ask this question. Having just completed my 43rd September with college freshmen, I still have this question, but with some additional thoughts....and questions.

Freshmen I have met with who have come to our ministry have expressed disappointment in friends who were Christians from their high school youth group have already begun to live contrary to their expressed commitments prior to coming to campus. One freshman guy who said he was a worship leader in his church is going on alcohol binge trips and asked an upperclass guy how not to do that.

Is it as simple as peer pressure? The desire to fit in is so strong and overwhelming? Was it just peer pressure in high school that made them youth group leaders and "See You At the Pole" participants? Is it all the same....just now the pressure they are responding to is different...same thing just different actions needed to fit in?

Part of the issue is parents who seem to accept and even condone the idea of going away from faith in college, cause we know you will come back after college.....cause that's what the parents did? One Church College Minister tells of a large group of high school seniors who graduated at his church last spring. He worked with them all summer and they were active with his ministry and started at the local University when the fall began. Since school has started, only one of the large group that attended in the summer has been once! It seems he did his part....what happened?

No magic answers from me....but...we have to help people get past this notion of, "Everyone goes away in college but comes back later" . Even if that were 100% true, they come back with the issues and marriages they developed while they were away from the Lord. But, we know right now most are not coming back.

Is peer pressure and fitting in the most powerful force? We thought they loved Jesus in high school and it was just peer pressure? Are parents walking away from their role in College students' spirituality?

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