Equipping Teens for College: What I wish they brought with them from home

Rick Mattson Bible, Devotion, Evangelism Leave a Comment

Recently Sharon and I bought a car.* It got me thinking about the oft-used phrase standard equipment.

Here’s the “standard equipment” I wish Christians students possessed when they enter college from their hometowns and churches:
1. A big-picture overview of the Bible, Genesis to Revelation. Important because it keeps students grounded in the story of redemption.

In contrast, students tend to arrive on campus equipped with a smattering of devotional thoughts and moral obligations.
2. Inductive Bible study skills. The 3-step process of observation, interpretation and application (OIA) gives students a way to study scripture that is solid and reliable.

An uncommon skill among 18-year olds.

3. A simple outline of the gospel.  It could be the Bridge Diagram (my fav), the Four Spiritual Laws, the Four Worlds, Romans Roads, Steps to Peace with God . . . it doesn’t matter. None of these is perfect yet each provides a starting point for sharing the gospel with a nonChristian friend.
4. A beginner’s apologetic. This might be the least likely standard equipment but is indispensable for collegiate life as a Christian. I’m talking about a clear frame-up of how to have a discussion with a seeker or skeptic and some basic answers to hard questions.
5. An awareness of social and racial justice. This area is improving relative to 20 years ago but still has a long ways to go.
* * *
Next week I’ll dive into one or two of the above more in-depth and suggest some helpful resources.
* We bought a Ford Focus from the Hudson, WI Ford dealership. I’d recommend both.

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