Spiritual FormationTransitions

College Years as Desert Experience [?]

With all of the transition, struggle, change and formation that takes place during the college years, I wonder how our approach to ministry with college students might change if we began to think in terms of this season of life as a ‘spiritual desert’ for students, similar to what we see described throughout the Bible and Christian history.

How would this change how we talk about these years?

How would it change the kind of programming we do?

What about our discipleship?

We know how regularly students come to us in crisis — so why not encourage them to embrace it as a way to find God, better know themselves and to better connect with the struggles of their peers?

What kind of difference do you think this would make?

Do you think it would draw students in? Or repel them?

Still thinking about this… but would love to hear your thoughts!

  • Tim Wright

    I think we need to look at the life of Jesus as the model for understanding the journey of our life. I work with students in the UK and the biggest challenge I find is what kind of salvation has this person entered into with Christ. Have the committed the first major flaw by “inviting Jesus into their life or have they realized that they have been invited into Christ Life” Colossians 3:4 says, When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

    Christ is our life! He is not an addition to our life to make it better or to meet our needs! This is the biggest battle I have with the students that I disciple. They have not fully surrendered when they think they have. They are always complaining why is god stopping things from working out in their life, when they say this, it is a sign that they haven’t surrendered to HIM, they have just added him to their life. 

    Max Dupree says the first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. If I can get a young man to open his heart and allow the Holy Spirit to reveal what he is holding onto then he can surrender it to the Father and learn to live as a Son.

    Identity is the issue for discipleship. If they get this, whatever happens to them they can learn to live THROUGH HIM instead of for him. 1 John 4:9