The community you find in college can be just as important as the things you learn in class. Relationships–with friends, professors, athletic teams, and clubs–are often what people miss the most when they graduate. But as with most relationships, you get out of community what you put in.
Here are four ways to make the most of community in a Christian college.
1. Be committed
Be there! It may seem obvious, but many people lack consistency and commitment when joining a club, organization, team, or other community.
Make sure you make community a priority and block off time to spend with others. If you only go to church or Bible study once or twice, it is going to be difficult to establish meaningful relationships.
By showing up for events and group outings, you are saying, “I am here, and I want to being a part of this!”
2. Be honest
Be open and honest about who you are. Share your hobbies and interests, and let others see your personality. God created each of us just how He intends, and we have a lot to learn from one another. If we’re open, it is often our quirks and idiosyncrasies that others enjoy most about us.
It is also important to be transparent about your struggles, hurts, and doubts. If we never share any of the difficulties of our lives, we all go around thinking the next person is doing better than we are when. In reality, we all wear facades. It is only through open hearts and honest conversation that we learn that we are all broken. Through this, community can help us feel known and cared for.
3. Invest in others
Take the time to get to know the members of your community. Ask questions and get to know where they are from, what their majors are, and what their passions are.
Simply be interested, ask questions, and get to know the basics of a person. Then dig deeper. When appropriate, ask to hear a fellow believer’s testimony of how he came to Christ. One of the best investments you can make is investing time and energy into someone.
4. Live life together
Christians are called to “share in a common life” (1 John 1:3, NET). In other words, we are called to participate and be a part of one another’s lives.
Relationship is at the center of community—we meet, gather, relate, and admonish one another because we share a common faith. As believers, we should support each other in all aspects of life. We can do this by eating meals, watching movie, playing sports, attending concerts, and studying with one another.
Don’t let church be the end-all, be-all. It is important to praise, worship, and pray corporately, but it is also important to laugh, have fun, and make memories with members of your community.
People often think that they need to have a particular set of skills to contribute to a group, but this is the wrong kind of thinking. Christian community is not about skill, but your attitude, your heart, and your willingness to contribute.