How to Get the Most Out of Church Away from Home
When coming to college, there are many adjustments that have to be made. We all know that these include adjusting to new living spaces, new food, a new job, and a new schedule. However, I’ve noticed that there is one adjustment incoming students make that, for many, may be the most difficult: attending a new church.
Campus Church provides an excellent place for PCC students to worship and be under the preaching of God’s Word while away at college. However, for any student who did not grow up there, it does mean adjusting to a new church. Whether your church is almost identical or extremely different from Campus Church, everyone longs for that “home church” feeling.
This is something I struggled with my freshman year, as I was very involved in my church back home, and the size and demographic of the congregation was very different than that of Campus Church. However, once I applied the following ideas, it made my “home away from home” church experience even better.
1.) Make Your Walk Personal
Depending solely on church three times a week for all of your spiritual filling is a trap that many Christians, including myself, sometimes fall into. If there’s ever a time that you realize this is happening to you, it will be when you start going to a new church. If we depend too much on services to give us spiritual fulfillment, we will neglect personal time in Scripture, prayer, and community. While the corporate gathering of believers is certainly necessary for spiritual growth, it cannot be depended on by itself. Making your walk personal will help you keep church in its proper place.
2.) Get Involved!
This was the most practical thing that helped me in the transition. Although we may not be aware of them all, there are so many ways to get involved and serve at Campus Church. In high school, I was an usher at my home church. Coming here, being able to serve as an usher in Campus Church really helps me to be fulfilled in having an area of ministry in the church.
While ushering and music ministry may be the most visible ways for college students to serve in Campus Church, they certainly aren’t the only ways. Students are able to serve in the nursery, children’s ministries, Sunday School classes, as greeters, in helping with church events, and so much more! Find the area of ministry that you want to serve in and you’ll be amazed to see the joy that comes from it.
3.) Recognize the Similarities
You may come from a church much different in size. You may come from a church that conducts its services differently. You may come from a church where you don’t have to wear a tie. My home church is different and yours probably is too—no two churches are the same. However, focusing on the primary similarities between your home church and Campus Church will instantly help your adjustment.
What are these similarities? They are the focal point of the praise and preaching of every biblical church: the Word of God and the God of the Word. Things may be very different than you’re used to when you come to worship on Sunday and Wednesday, but the God you worship is still the same.13