An Open Letter To Apostolic Students
An Open Letter to Apostolic Students
By Mark Stacy
Dear Apostolic Students,
College is both the best of times and the worst of times. Here we expand our minds, create new friendships, and make memories to last a lifetime. But the rewards of these years spent in study do not come easily and they most certainly do not come free. In fact, it is quite the opposite. College is difficult. It takes patience, commitment, and sacrifice, attributes that are not a given in today’s society. But with the right mentality and with much endurance, you will look back on those four future-forming years with a heart most grateful and a mind made steady.
The advice I give to you, whether underclassmen or upperclassmen, is this: Keep the main thing the main thing. Many young Christians, emboldened by the newfound freedom of being on their own for the first time, are unprepared for the assault on faith that takes place within the walls of universities. A recent study revealed that nearly 75% of Christian young people walk away from their faith during their freshman year of college. That number jumps to 90% by the end of sophomore year. This statistic can be remedied. Keep the main thing the main thing. Make time every day for prayer and Bible reading.
I cannot stress enough the importance of having a consistent walk with God before and during college. This, and this alone, will keep you.
There is an old saying, “Show me your friends and I will show you your future.” Surround yourself with positive influences. Your character will soon mirror the character of those with whom you spend your time. Do you want to be successful during and after college? Let yourself be surrounded by people who love God, love His word, and by those who uplift and encourage you toward good works. The connections you make during college have the potential to last a lifetime. Choose your friends carefully.
You will reach the point in your college career when classes become monotonous, the friends you see every day will begin to annoy you to the utmost, and you will wish for the sweet relief that comes with graduating. It will be easy during these times to attend classes without actually gaining from classes. It will be tempting to shut yourself off from friends and continue at an apathetic coast. But take nothing for granted. In a flash it will be over, and you will be caught in a wish for just a little more time. It will be over and you will miss it.
So soak in every moment; savor every word, and cherish your friends while they’re close.
And now, I encourage you; embrace the moment. We are living in the most technologically advanced time in the history of the world. The opportunity presented to our generation is unique and nearly limitless, but with unique opportunity comes unique challenge. Thanks to the rise of social media, our generation is the most connected in history, but with the rise of cyber connection is a fall in emotional and spiritual connection. Real and lasting connections are increasingly rare.
Morally, we are living in a generation that is adrift and in need of absolutes. Crime rates are rising all over America. Drug and alcohol abuse is out of control. Pornography is now at epidemic levels. Recent studies indicate that four out of five men have either been exposed or are currently addicted to pornography, with the average age of initial exposure being nine years old. Studies also show that this generation is the least religious in recent history with less than 30% claiming to attend church.
It is a dark time, a perilous time, but where sin abounds, grace much more abounds.
And I believe that along with unique opportunities and challenges, God has ordained a generation of young men and women whom He has uniquely equipped and anointed for this hour.
Campuses today are melting pots of people from all over the globe, and as students we are in the perfect position to witness and propagate the Gospel. So embrace the moment; let perfect love cast out fear; be Apostolic, and shine the light of Truth.
Mark A. Stacy II