by Sammy Rhodes at Desiring God
Every summer the same thing happens to my inbox. I open it to find a steady stream of emails from concerned parents, youth pastors, and older siblings, asking me to check in on so and so when they get to campus in August.
They all want the same thing: to see their beloved 18-year-old get involved with our ministry on campus and growing in their faith. The problem is that more times than not, this isn’t exactly what the beloved 18-year-olds want for themselves.
What do they want? That’s the question I’ve asked myself for the last eight years doing campus ministry. The question itself embodies everything I love and hate about campus ministry. College students, typically ages 18 to 22, are working out for themselves, not what their parents want for them, but what they want. It’s thrilling. It’s maddening. It’s discouraging. It’s exhausting.
Some are trying harder than others to figure it out. Some come in thinking they’ve already got it figured out. It takes time. Few of them realize how precious time actually is. It also takes mistakes. Lots and lots of them typically.
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