Hold on to College Students
Are your college students checking out, never to return? Statistics prove that many high school graduates who leave their church (likely the church where they grew up) never return.
“Many who leave for college never find a new church home and put ‘church’ on hold during these very important developmental years in their lives,” says Christian Education Executive Director Brent Turner.
To keep your exiting college students in touch with their church/denomination, give them the gift of the ARP Magazine online or in print. A gift card will be mailed to the recipient, saying it’s a gift from their church, Women’s Ministries or individual. To subscribe, go to www.arpmagazine.org or call 1-864-232-8441.
A Mountaintop Experience
By Garison Taylor
Director of youth ministries at Greenville (SC) ARP Church
God is faithful and has provided many opportunities for youth to sit under His Word – to talk with people about His faithfulness and calling in their lives. Two such opportunities offered by Christian Education Ministries (www.arpcem.com) are the Horizon and Quest conferences, held each summer at the Bonclarken Conference Center in Flat Rock, NC.
The first ARP Church conference our youth attended this summer was Horizon – a week-long senior high conference. The goal of this conference is to send young people out into their world, spiritually nurtured, fed, and equipped to live out their faith and share it with those around them.
It was a great week and God indeed worked in mighty ways. Guest speaker Shai Linne, a Christian hip-hop artist, spoke straight from Scripture on the Gospel, reminding us that the wrath of God, which we so justly deserve, was laid on Jesus, so we who are united with Jesus, might have life. This is the Gospel in a nutshell.
We were also reminded that it doesn’t end there. Because of this work Jesus has done, we who are His are called to live a life in which we are free to glorify God. It’s not for our salvation that we live a life pleasing to God, but instead because we are free from the bondage of sin. Therefore we are now able to live the life we are called to for God’s glory.
The week (June 11-16) was filled with lots of fun activities, but sitting under the Word of God and being reminded what it’s like to live a Christian life was the best.
Next was the middle school conference (June 18-23). Quest is always a time of high energy and fun, combined with an exciting presentation of God’s Holy Word and how it applies to daily life.
This year, Lake Wales ARP Church Youth Minister Matt Joldersma taught five of the seven questions our denomination asks of people seeking membership in the ARP Church. It was somewhat of a review for many of our students, but it made us all think about the commitment we made when we joined the church.
Matt reminded us all that God’s Word is the standard for the Christian life, and it is in the Word where we see the Savior we so desperately need – Jesus Christ. We were also reminded of the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Christian and how he guides and comforts us – and that He is the one doing the work of regeneration in our heart.
As we began packing up to head down the mountain, we were reminded that God gives us mountaintop experiences, but we must continue to live the Christian life went we return home. It’s where God continues to shape us, mold us, and use us for His own glory and where we are to live for Him in all we do and say.
What did your youth take down the mountain?
Share what junior/senior highs in your youth group experienced this year at Horizon or Quest. Did someone have a life-changing experience? What was the reaction of someone attending Horizon or Quest for the first time? As a youth director/leader, what was your experience? Please email your response to firstname.lastname@example.org.