If you’re going to school in the fall or if you’re going into last year, and haven’t gotten involved with a campus Christian fellowship group, DO!
I cannot stress how much of an impact the IVCF group on campus at my school has had on my life. I always knew that it would be important to me, of course. Actually, one of the reasons I chose my school was because I knew that it had great Christian groups on campus, and I am so happy I did!
There are some reasons in particular that I think that you should join a campus Christian fellowship group, so I hope that these convince you, because trust me, you won’t look back!
1. It provides Christian community
Being in a secular school can provide a special opportunity for Christian students to bond together and create amazing community. When you’re a minority in your environment, it’s so much more important to make sure you have support, and Christian fellowship groups provide that! You feel a lot less alone as a Christian if you know that there are 100 others doing the same thing in your school.
2. You meet great friends
When you’re part of a Christian group on campus you’re surrounded by tons of people who are all trying to find community. I honestly don’t know a better way to make friends in college. It makes it a lot easier to talk to people and get to know them when you know that they’re all trying to meet other Christians!
My IVCF group celebrating Chinese New Year last year!
3. More opportunities for finding relationships
Even though this really shouldn’t be your primary focus, it’s a real one. I would not have met Connor if it weren’t for IVCF, and if you’re looking for a good Christian guy where better to find one than a Christian group on campus? It’s a no-brainer for me.
4. Great deals on textbooks
Honestly I have gotten so many textbooks for free or for super discounted second-hand from my IVCF friends who are also in psych, and I’ve sold a bunch and let a bunch of people borrow mine, too! You’re all a big family, so of course you help each other out!
5. Lots of free food
Of course, sometimes you should pitch in, too, and not JUST eat all the food, but this is a definite plus. With our IVCF group, dinner is included with Bible study so that’s one night a week you don’t have to cook!
6. You have safe places to go just to hang out
Our IVCF group on campus has a ton of community houses where all of the people renting the place are from IVCF and they pretty much have an open door policy. My first year at school I used to just go between classes and study or hang out at any of the houses that had someone home and it was great for me. When you’re stressed and freaking out about your midterms next week sometimes it’s just nice to study on a couch instead of in a library.
At the Tulip Festival last year with my IVCF friends
7. You can create a family away from home
Moving out is great but can be scary, too, especially if you’re living away from your parents for the first time. The guys Connor lived with last year and their girlfriends have really become a bit like family to me, and I know that they’re like brothers to him. When I was extremely sick last semester, one of those girls, my friend Jordyn, actually made me a care package with soup, halls, kleenex, and chocolate when Connor told her I wasn’t feeling well. It was so sweet! That’s something that you just don’t get anywhere else.
8. Accountability to study God’s word
Being on your own can make it so difficult to motivate yourself to read your Bible, go to church, etc. That’s one of the reasons why I think that a lot of students leave the church entirely. But when you’re part of a group that has a weekly Bible study and you don’t show up one week, someone notices, and they make sure you get there next week! It’s so important to make God a daily part of your life, and this really helps.
9. They do tons of fun stuff
Their events are so great! We had a pyjama party one night where we played insane games and watched a movie in one of the lecture rooms, we’ve gone skating, the guys at Connor’s house even hosted a Movember party where all the guys competed to have the best moustache. It was ridiculous but tons of fun! This is one of my favourite parts about IVCF. When you’re stressed because of school it’s great to just go and be silly for a little bit.
Connor and me at the IVCF pyjama party!
10. Great housing opportunities
Are you looking to live with some Christian gals next year? Get involved with a Christian group! There are always rooms opening up in community houses, and it’s easier to find Christian roommates when you’re already part of a Christian community!
11. You have friends in your classes
Obviously this isn’t always going to work out, and you should still try to make friends with kids who don’t go to your Christian group, but it’s so nice to find Christians who are also in your major and to know you get to see them in class! I have 3 or 4 girls from IVCF who are in my year in psychology and we always try to get at least one class together a semester! It makes class that much more fun! Especially if you’re shy this makes it so much easier to have friends in class since you already have something in common!
12. You get involved in ministry
Staying involved in kingdom work while you’re balancing school work can be difficult, but when you are part of a bigger group all working together it becomes a lot more manageable! Even if you don’t lead a Bible study personally, you’ll be there when that girl accepts Christ for the first time, or when that guy gets baptized. It’s such an amazing experience.
13. You start your adult life off on the right foot
If one of the first things you do as soon as you move out is find a campus Christian fellowship group, you’re starting your adult life seeking out ways to keep your faith alive. And to me, that’s an amazing first step.
Are you involved in a Christian campus group? What has been your experience?
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