Do you have a child going off to college, or do you know one? Join us as we go along with Bibles (and students) to college and follow their journey for the next four years. The truths in the Foundations Workbook are truths we want our college students to keep in front of them at all times. We never outgrow our need for the gospel! Our kids need the gospel for salvation; rescue from death. Even if your student is a believer, we need the gospel to grow in understanding of Christ and knowing how to live. The gospel teaches us God’s wisdom and how to live in God’s world. And until Jesus returns, we continually need the gospel to sustain us, carrying us with hope, power, peace, and lasting joy. 1 Corinthians 15:1-2 describes how the gospel saves us, keeps working to sanctify us, and continually sustains us as we cling to the truth of God’s Word.
“Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you – unless you believed in vain.”1 Corinthians 15:1-2
I don’t have a senior myself, but over the last several years I’ve gathered several high school seniors under my wing. Most of those young women have been my babysitters and have turned into spiritual daughters. Our relationships began with babysitting, helping drive my kids around, and assisting around the house with laundry and dishes. Over our few years together, our time has grown into lingering moments where we talk about what it looks like to follow Jesus in the midst of all of it.
“Being a spiritual parent means to help someone grow as a disciple of Jesus Christ. The most obvious biblical example of this is the apostle Paul, who often spoke of himself in these terms in passages such as 1 Thess 2:7-12; 1 Tim 1:2; 2 Tim 1:2; Tit 1:4; 2:3-5 and 1 Cor 4:14-17. “Jane Tooher, The Gospel Coalition Australia
In this last season, we started to talk about going off to college, forming habits that would keep us rooted in Christ, and finding gospel community. Now that they are all scattering to different universities, I created some ‘kits’ with a Bible, highlighters, post-it notes and print-outs of the Getting Started Guide and Foundations Workbook. The goal is to equip them for ongoing spiritual formation.
We encourage you to do something similar for the college-bound people in your life! Here are some quick tips!
Put together a Getting Started Kit
1. Collect a few things they’ll need to create a Loved Bible
2. Gather: I had the girls over for lunch. (Remember – eating is a great time and activity to build relationships! Read this blog where we share how eating builds relationship!)
3. Conversation Starters: We went through some simple ways to get to know each other better…
- What is one favorite thing to do by yourself?
- When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
- Now that you’re headed off to college, what do you want to be?
- What are 3 things you’re really strong in, good at, or known for? What’s one thing you want to work on?
- What are 3 ways I could support you in your walk with Jesus in college?
4. Discuss: This article from Jen Oshman contains so many great gospel reminders. I printed it out and we talked about what resonated most with them, and why?
You are already loved, cherished, and fully accepted by the One who made you. No test grade or class rank or job offer will ever change that.Jen Oshman, From Mom and Dad to Our Grad
5. Favorites: Find out all their favorites! (We’ve created this favorites worksheet to help). Use this to create personal care packages throughout college, especially during finals week! I especially love the last question (a prayer prompt). It’s a great way to keep in touch with them and provide spontaneous reminders to pray. For example, one of my teens loves her nails painted. Whenever I see a fresh manicure, I will pray for her. Whenever I’m getting my own mani/pedi, instead of scrolling, I’ll spend that time to pray for her!
6. Tell them about The Loved Bible Project. You might start the Loved Bible for them or you could do it together. Use the Foundations Workbook as a guide. The truths in the Foundations Workbook are truths we want our college student to keep in front of them at all times. Students will face many scenarios that will challenge their identity in Christ while they are in college. The primary way to keep them rooted in Christ is to root them in God’s Word.
7. Love a Bible: If you have time before they leave, continue to meet with them to show them how to love a Bible. You might progressively work through the Foundations Workbook or the attributes of God worksheets together!
8. Every month, I plan to send them notes and inserts to add to their Loved Bible. [Hint: Continue to follow #lovedbiblecollege on social media for ideas.]
9. I want these students to create a habit of being in Bible study throughout their college years. It may take them a little while to establish their own rhythms of study, so I plan to send them Daily Grace Bible studies (which are often on sale for $5!) so they can walk through a book of the Bible each Fall and Spring. This is also a great way to continue with a group chat throughout the year.
Who do you know going off to college this Fall?
Are you willing to invest in their lives as they embark on this new adventure?
As these students grow in maturity, responsibility, and pursuit of their passions, you could have an important role to play. What a great way to help them grow in the things of God, in biblical literacy, and as they discern the calling God has for them as he speaks through is Word! Join us as we equip the next generation of disciples and disciple-makers for the gospel!
Loved Bible Goes To College could have an incredible impact on the life and trajectory of that young adult in your life. Join us in making disciples of the next generation!