Two 学生 come together into my office and sit down. 一个来自 Midwest, the other from the West Coast. Both grew up in large, non-denominational 教堂. “We notice that people really use the Old Testament around here,” 他们开始. “In chapel, in classes—it comes up a lot. Neither of us have really been exposed to the Old Testament, so we wanted to talk about that.”
Another student stops by to talk about challenges with her parents. “我是唯一的 Christian in my family,” she says. “他们 do not understand why I chose a Christian college and tear it down every time I talk with 他们.”
Chapel one morning is led by a senior from Afghanistan who tells us how her family was at the airport in Kabul along with thousands of others waiting to leave, and are now in a refugee camp praying to come to the U.S.
Calvin 学生 come from all over the world and from many Christian backgrounds, bringing increasing diversity in biblical literacy, theological understanding, and denominational identity.
澳门威尼斯人网站有 学生 who passionately love Jesus but don’t know much about 《澳门威尼斯人官网》. 澳门威尼斯人网站有 学生 who come from 信仰 communities where they were taught that doubt was sin, so they are scared to ask their deepest 信仰问题. 澳门威尼斯人网站有其他的 who come in with their guards up, having been warned that college is a place where people lose their 信仰, and they listen to their professors 期待被冒犯. 澳门威尼斯人网站有 Korean missionary kids who grew up speaking Spanish, 学生 from rural communities where everyone looked like 他们 (whether in Nigeria or Montana), and 学生 from global cities who find Grand Rapids quaint.
加尔文大学 is a picture of the global church, and a glimpse of what 教堂将成为. Many 学生 have grown up with plentiful options for church and worship, and a ripping electric guitar may not be the draw 为他们 that older generations may think it is. 他们喜欢 good preaching and good music (don’t 澳门威尼斯人网站都?), but as one student said, “I want more than a concert and a TED Talk.”
他们 long for the holy in worship, for diversity in musical styles and in the languages sung, and a sense that the people with whom they are worshiping really love the Lord and each other.
Students who spend the week in the predominantly white setting of Calvin may be eager to gather on Sundays with those who look like 他们, speak their language, or understand their 文化. Because fewer 学生 know the difference between Baptist, Wesleyan or Reformed, the denominational identity of a congregation matters less to 他们 than the vibrancy of the worship, the engagement with the neighborhood, or the strength of 的说教.
But what really draws 他们 in are 的关系. 学生们渴望 learn more about how to follow Jesus, and would love mentors to help 他们— this is the most common request we receive in campus ministries. 他们 want older, non-parental people in their lives who care 为他们.
The rising generations are curious about what it means to follow Jesus, and they are eager for us to show 他们. I can’t think of a better 澳门威尼斯人网站的时间投资.