What if my church doesn't have anyone my age?

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What if my church doesn't have anyone my age?

Aug 21, 2000 |J. Budziszewski
Question

Here's the deal. I will be a junior at a large, state university next fall. I'm on the leadership team in a campus ministry and go to a church with some of my friends from college there. Anyway, I came home for the summer because I got an internship in my hometown, and I'm not getting much Christian fellowship here. The people in my small, traditional hometown church are nice, but they are mostly older people or people with little kids. I don't really feel comfortable there, and I really miss having friends my age to go to church with.

I miss my college church so much, and I miss my campus ministry. I try to stay strong on my own, but it is hard to do it you don't have anyone else to keep you accountable. I moved here trusting God that He would work things out, and I know for some weird reason He has a purpose for this summer, but right now I just can't wait for this summer to be over. Any suggestions? 

Answer

To most people in your situation I'd suggest simply trying another church! Small towns aren't so small any more, and almost every town includes at least one solidly biblical church with college-age people. Your circumstances are more difficult. As you explained in the rest of your letter, some of your friends do go to a church with a college group, but your internship requires you to work when the college group meets. Not only that, but your dad is the pastor of your present church, and you think it would be wounding for you to shop around for another. I commend your desire to honor him.

Is it possible that God's purpose in bringing you home for the summer is to teach you communion with people who are not like yourself? Division of churches into "interest groups" like Singles, Young Marrieds and Seniors is a recent development. Though it has certain advantages, it also tends to make us forget that the church is the body of Christ and that all of us depend on each other. Our sympathies become contracted, and our opportunities to get outside ourselves, to join with those to whom the Holy Spirit has given different gifts, and to learn from those more experienced than ourselves, are all diminished. The very fact you find three short months with older people so difficult suggests that you may have something very important to gain from it. Consider this possibility with humility — and when you return to college, remember to participate not only in your student fellowship but also in a real church.

Copyright 2000 J. Budziszewski. All rights reserved.

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