Your relationship with your church back home is important. And since you’ll be away from the friendships, fellowship and discipleship you’ve had at home, it’s important to get involved in a local church in the Greenville area.
The Importance of Church
We’re all accountable to God for how we respond to His commands. He makes it clear in His Word that as Christians, we’re to live in community with other Christians. A local church is God’s prescribed way for this community to play out. Though there are many ways for you to grow spiritually (Bible classes, chapel, discipleship groups, etc.), BJU isn’t a church or a substitution for one.
Choosing a Church
God gives wisdom to those who ask for it—so ask Him for wisdom when you’re deciding on the right fit. He’s placed wise people around you as well, so talk with your parents or other trusted spiritual leaders in your life about choosing a church.
Some advice to help you in your choice:
- You and your parents should read and understand BJU’s position on the local church.
- In your first semester at BJU, you should visit several churches and carefully evaluate each one regarding the church’s doctrinal positions, preaching style, demographics of the congregation (average age, number in attendance, ethnic mix, etc.), description of worship style and approach to life and community.
- As you narrow your search, before selecting you should:
- Carefully read and evaluate the church’s doctrinal statement (usually found on church website).
- Invite your parents to listen to several sermons from the church pastor (church website).
- Invite your parents to consult with your home pastor to gain counsel from those in spiritual authority in your life.
- Explore and identify opportunities for service and involvement in the church. (Can you exercise your gifts by participating in ministry such as choir, orchestra, children’s or youth ministry, nursery or senior’s ministry? Are there community opportunities available where you can engage in accountable relationships like Sunday School class and small groups?)
- Identify any areas of potential concern and talk through them with a pastoral staff member.
Take a look at some Greenville-area churches that you can visit.
Getting Involved in a Church
Getting involved in a church means getting to know people and serving as God enables you. As you attend faithfully, look for ways you can meet others and ask the leadership what needs there are in the church that you can help out with. Some churches are immediately ready to have college students help out, but others want to get to know you and prefer that you join the church as an associate member before helping out.
Your time at college is a great time to grow spiritually. Remember that your relationship with your church is mutual. You’ll find encouragement where God leads you, and your involvement—even if it’s limited to faithful attendance and friendliness in your interactions—will encourage members of the church.