For some, cabin fever has itched your need to escape the clutches of home life. For others, waving goodbye to your sheltered burrow has been testing and overwhelming at times. Maybe you sit firmly in both camps? Exhilarated by the opportunities university presents yet weirdly unsettled by the unknown and way ahead.
Derived from the Greek word ‘Ecclesia’, ‘Church’ is given its name to signify the gathering of people at the Lord’s house. Like huddling around a fire-burner, Church invites you into the warmth of a living room. To be held in stability and adopted in love. To be understood indefinitely and guided through fog. To discover the source of new life and empowered into true purpose from the big man above.
DISCLAIMER: No Church is perfect. But whatever your experiences of home, the last 18 months, or indeed, however this September has treated you, Church is truly a place you can call home.
Here are seven quick-fire questions to consider when looking for a Church to call home:
1. DENY OR TRY?
Church may not be what you think. University is about experiencing new things, so why not give it a go? What’s the worst thing that could happen? You may also be in two-minds about picking up Church again. I'd urge you to embody an attitude of openness and be pleasantly surprised by the new landscape of opportunity, hope and adventure this year will bring. Oh! And P.S! You actually have a choice now. Don’t deny certain Churches based on previous affiliations. Try them out!
2. TUMBLEWEED OR BUMBLEBEE?
Church should create a hunger and excite our bones for the following week. It’s not all about size, am I right? But ask yourself: Does this Church have a pulse? Are there a buzz of students, young adults, families and elders you envision sabbath-ing with and doing life with outside Sundays? Church is about the everyday fellowship. Is this a real community, with a real heart that will bring real life?
3. GROW OR PLATEAU?
Don’t compromise discipleship for temporary production value. Bright lights, smoke machines and interior designs may look impressive at a glance but does it surpass the beauty of challenging teaching that will last the test of times and grow you spiritually? Is there space to join a small group and opportunities be mentored?
4. PARTAKE OR SPECTATE?
Stop consuming and start communing! This is the typical light-bulb moment in the life of a student where they recognise the importance of serving not only supports the function of their Church but also helps them to feel personally connected. Are there teams you can join to discover and enhance your gifting? University cities generate huge retention rates. Who knows how much serving will impact your future life choices! You may even find yourself sticking around after your course!
5. BAAAA OR RAAWH?
A question we hear all the time but one we rarely apply to ourselves. Are you a sheep or a wolf? Being a sheep isn’t a bad thing! After all Jesus is the good Shepherd and we are His flock, He attends to us and our needs. But what would it look to say NO to the FOMO, and instead, be brave enough to say YES to the Church God is calling us to regardless of whether our friends are there or not?
6. FEAST WITH OR WITHOUT THE PRIEST?
“On Sundays… we eat like Kings”. I'd admit it's not quite as iconic as the line from Mean Girls, however, the a good sign of a Church is one that provides FREE food. Churches love throwing on events or inviting students for lunch after Church. It’s an amazing chance to meet Church family and other students. Take a break from the pot noodle!
7. COMMIT OR OMIT?
The grass is not always greener on the other side. Don’t submit to the vicious cycle of non-commitment. After a few weeks of visits, listen to your gut, pray it through and then pick one! The sooner you commit, the quicker you are integrated, the more chance you'll feel at home. Unsure how to get started? Want to start visiting Churches? You can linkupnow via Student Linkup App here.
Embrace the journey. Enjoy the fun. Commit with prayer.
Call Church home.