5 Reasons I Loved College

Posted by on Aug 29, 2012 in Uncategorized, Writing | 21 Comments

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5 Reasons I Loved College

 

1). It was where Jesus first drew me unto Himself, so I thought I’d go back to the “scene of the crime” per se. I think this world would look a lot different if Christians went back to where they first started to follow Jesus rather than retreat from that demographic immediately. No one knows the culture or demographic better than the one you just came out of.

 

2). There is no better place to talk about Jesus than on a college campus. It’s a place where everyone is trying to figure out what they believe, everyone is searching for truth, and everyone is painfully becoming aware of how them as the lord of their life isn’t working (which was me my sophomore year). Also it’s the marketplace of ideas and the front lines of the academic world. One of the biggest things I’ve missed about that is the classroom discussion. It was so fruitful, robust, and educated. Outside of college it seems everyone just resorts to name calling and getting angry.

 

3). It’s fun and it’s fresh. Everything is new to a lot of the students (the academics, the freedom, and the friends) and so there is this freshness in the air. You never know what you are going to get (in fact I’m sure that’s exactly what some of my peers thought when me and my friend dressed up as a banana and a gorilla and ran through the library during finals week, but we won’t talk about that incident).

 

4). I still thoroughly enjoy Ramen Noodles and I know I won’t get judged on a college campus.

 

5). I think it’s the best time for viral discipleship. Life on life happens whether you like it or not. Think about it, when you go to college you are in close quarters with thousands of other people. Most freshman guy dorms are borderline sardine cans. If you are living for Jesus, people WILL see. No better time to show the Christian life than the four years thousands of your peers are right next to you.

 

These are just some of the reasons I am beyond excited for where God is taking me and Alyssa this fall. She and I (along with a few other close friends) are launching a full-scale college ministry this fall in the Tacoma, Washington (30 minutes outside of Seattle).  We will be right near the heart of downtown and will be drawing on the five surrounding colleges in the city. There will be a Friday night gathering, “fight clubs” (a gospel intentional small group), and various outreaches and service projects. You can read more about it here and we’d be humbled if you would prayerfully consider partnering with us in this endeavor. We are realizing quickly that starting a ministry from the ground up costs a lot of money but we know God will provide. If you’d like to help support us launching you can go here. Also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and our website to stay up to date on what we are doing. And if you are ever in Tacoma come hang out with us!

 

To give to For The King Ministries click here

 

Books that shaped me while in college

Reason for God by Tim Keller

Prodigal God by Tim Keller

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

If God is God… by Randy Alcorn

 

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21 Comments

  1. Mariam Wanies
    August 29, 2012

    Thank you for speaking such beautiful and sweet truth!

    Reply
  2. Danica Park
    August 29, 2012

    Hey! I just started my senior year this week and I obviously need to start making final college plans. And I was just wondering what your thoughts were on going to a Christian College versus a non Christian college!
    Thanks!!

    Reply
    • Casey
      August 30, 2012

      Danica,
      I am attending a christian college, and I highly recommend it. Sure you will still find alcohol and those who aren’t serving God. However, you can tell that Jesus is here. The teachers care not only about your academics, but also your spiritual being. I attend Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee, and it was the best decision I have ever made! Also pray to God about where HE wants you. That is important!

      Reply
      • meredith
        August 30, 2012

        Danica,
        Casey is right. I went to Emmanuel College in Franklin Springs, Ga–in northeast Georgia. It’s probably at least 1/2 if not 1/3 the size of Lee University. I chose the small college environment because I thought it would help with my learning problems. Do your research because each will have it’s pros and cons and ask for others to be in prayer over you and your big decision.

        Reply
    • Lorraine
      August 30, 2012

      Hey there,
      I am from Israel, so attending a Christian college / university is not even an option for me. I am in my second year attending a non-Christian university.
      I am writing this comment to encourage you to pray that God would lead you to where He can shine brighter, and for me, it was staying in Israel & choosing to represent God’s love for others everyday. Many of the friends I have made have asked me about Jesus and my faith, and it has been awesome sharing Him with others (a few of them have even purchased a Bible and started reading it).
      Hope this helped.
      Prayers from Israel :)

      Reply
      • jeffbethke
        August 30, 2012

        i went to a non christian school also. i loved it!

        Reply
        • MacKenzie
          August 31, 2012

          I went to a public school for my undergrad and yes it is hard to be somewhat of a minority, but I don’t think I would have grown so much in my faith if I hadn’t gone. Public school really forced me to know what I believe and how to back it up.

          Reply
  3. Ashley
    August 29, 2012

    Will you ever be in CT or surrounding areas?

    Reply
  4. Jonathon Brindley
    August 29, 2012

    Please come to Tucson, Arizona! Would love to have something like that here! You are so inspiring!

    Reply
  5. Krista Sweeney
    August 29, 2012

    Jeff!!
    My name is Krista and I’m from Olympia but I go to Eastern Washington University. I’m involved with a campus ministry called CRU and I just got back from a summer project in S. Lake Tahoe. I have been telling my friend Ernest all about my summer and how God showed up in Tahoe. Ernest is super interested and I can tell he is searching. Funny thing, he goes to UW Tacoma! Reading about your up and coming ministry, which I will be praying for, made me think of him! If you are ever on that campus, please look up Ernest Cedillo. I’ll be praying for y’all from little old Cheney, Wa!!

    Reply
    • jeffbethke
      August 29, 2012

      hey krista!! that’s awesome! we actually should have a leader or two at UW tacoma. tell ernest to follow us online and come hangout with us at our friday gatherings!

      Reply
  6. Sandy
    August 29, 2012

    Awww, c’mon tell us about the banana/gorilla incident!! :-p

    Reply
  7. Victoria Marko
    August 29, 2012

    Wow:) everytime I read your quotes, articles or when I watch your videos, God touches my heart big time!:)
    God bless you bro:)

    Reply
  8. Lahela
    August 29, 2012

    Thank you for sharing Jefferson. I hasn’t not stemmed college but it sounds like a great place to start.

    Reply
  9. Kayla Snyder
    August 30, 2012

    I’ll definitely keep you in my prayers! You’re going to do an AMAZING job. God has BIG things in store for you! If you need any ideas for your ministry then check out The Basement in Birmingham ( http://www.thebasementonline.com ). Live streaming is every Tuesday. The largest youth movement in the nation! Keep up the great work!If you’re ever in Alabama be sure to let me know. We’d love to have ya’ll!!

    Reply
  10. Essly The
    August 30, 2012

    Your number 1 reason you loved college is definitely the same thing with me. It was when my journey with God begun – and when i met my husband today. It took our whole time in college to build a cell group in our college back there and rising up a new leaders; and it turns out God was moved through our ordinary lives … Life changes, season changes – and i began to have a passion for a younger souls – based on my daily thought along the journey with God “I wish someone came to me back in my high school – I wish i knew God earlier, i could be more useful for the Kingdom of God – I wish i have a senior in my high school who came to me exactly like what happened to me in my college” –>> then this thought has brought me spread my wings, my hearts, and capacity to reach them, building a cell group from school to school and to rise up leaders in high school (begins with the senior high school, then goes down to the junior high school) .. i tell u Jeff, you should come to Indonesia sometime … the young people are just so hungry for God. Thanks for being such an inspiration and a blessing for this world. Keep inspiring! :-)

    Reply
  11. Jeremiah Scavo
    August 30, 2012

    Yeah, I disagree. Mainly because college looked more like a prolonging of adolescence. You might have become a Christian there, but often the Christianity is conjoined to video games and group outings. That’s not real life. I don’t think one will see real Christianity until they have lived it in real life. So my vote is college really gives a misperception of the Christian life.

    Reply
    • jeffbethke
      August 30, 2012

      that has nothing to do with college but how one approaches college.

      Reply
      • Jeremiah Scavo
        August 30, 2012

        Yeah, totally. And I think we have an entire culture that approaches college the wrong way. It’s purpose is to get you a job not find yourself. You don’t need to go to college to find yourself or have good discussion. Walk outside or go to a coffee shop. It won’t cost you 80k either. If anything it would be nice to see a culture that isn’t ok with going into massive debt for purpose other than the potential to make the money back. Most see debt as this normal “ok” thing. It’s not. Proverbs will tell you how stupid it is. This is coming from a college educated guy with less than 5 grand of debt. So no whining is going on here. It would be nice to see Christians promoting that rather than just playing along with the massive failure in culture.

        Reply
  12. Tara
    August 30, 2012

    This is really timely for me. I still have yet to figure out if I wanna go to college or not so this is a good thing to read about the positives in college. Good stuff! Thanks!

    Reply
  13. tiffany
    August 30, 2012

    I attend a non-christian college, & it doesnt hurt me spiritually in any way. i think its just where you stand with God :) you see His support every where! He’s helped me through so much. Christian or non-christian, college is still amazing! :) God bless. :)

    Reply

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