The Challenges of Attending Church in College

When I moved away to college, I started out in a new city with all new faces. As I’ve mentioned before, I had no means of transportation other than my feet, and it could have been really easy to skip the hassle of finding a ride for church on Sunday mornings.

As a college student, it can be so easy to find reasons not to attend church on any given Sunday morning. I should know; unfortunately, I used some of them! Here are three popular excuses college students use to justify skipping church  and why they shouldn’t be used.

1. I have too much homework. If you think about it, the hour and a half you spend in church on Sunday morning will not take away from homework time. It might mean you have to skip watching three episodes of Doctor Who on Netflix as a means of procrastination later in the afternoon. You might have good intentions with this excuse, but at some point during the day, you’ll spend that hour and a half doing something unproductive anyway. Why not spend it wisely and just go to church?  

It might mean you have to prioritize better throughout the week so you can have your Sunday as a Sabbath day. If you really need Sunday to study, find a good church with a Saturday night service and attend that instead. 

2. I can’t find a ride. While this excuse can be very valid depending on the location of your college, it’s also not a good one. If you attend a Christian university, chances are good most of your peers will be heading off campus for church Sunday morning. Ask around your dorm or post something on the school classifieds, and see if anyone is willing to give you a ride. While I was looking for a church, I spent half my freshman year going with a friend to her church and the other half of the year walking to a church down the street.

The benefit of asking others for a ride to church is that you won’t have to try new churches alone. If your close friends attend a nearby church, chances are good you’ll find it a good fit for you, too. Another great benefit is that you’ll have an accountability group. If you regularly get a ride from someone, everyone else who carpools with them will keep you accountable for attending every Sunday, and you’ll find an instant church community with them.

3. I already attend several campus chapels every week, or I’m involved in the Christian ministry on campus. If this is you, great! By all means, be involved and take advantage of ministries on your campus. However, these activities do not replace church itself. They do not replace the community you can find in church. We are perfectly capable of studying Scripture on our own, but it is important to fellowship with the body of Christ in a church community. 

 On campus, you are surrounded by people your own age. You aren’t subject to the wisdom of older Christian men and women, and you aren’t blessed by the accountability they can offer. You miss out on interacting with children and learning to bless and be blessed by those in different stages of life. There is incredible value in immersing yourself into a diverse church community.

What are some of the excuses you find yourself using to justify skipping church? For those of us out of college, what excuses do you use now or find others using?