The transition from high school to college is a time many Christian students abandon their involvement in Christian fellowship. That fact is one of the main motivators of College Connection, an annual event to give high school juniors and seniors a taste of the Xenos college ministry. This year the event runs the week of November 4th, and allows high-schoolers to attend college meetings, spend time in a ministry house, and make new friends within college home churches.
According to researchers at the Barna Group most high schoolers involved in a church—around 70%—drop out of their church involvement when they transition to college. College Connection gives them a vision for following God during their college years and beyond, and motivates them to choose that path. Historically, it’s helped persuade hundreds of high school students to pursue their walk with God in college.
The impact of the week goes beyond students who are currently involved in a high school home church. Xenos College-High School Administrator Brian Adams says, as a high-schooler, the College Connection meeting was one of his first experiences with Xenos. He says he was hostile toward the church but found people were sincerely committed to God’s work, and developing deep, loving relationships. Brian says, “I was sold from going to College Connection that I wanted to continue coming to Bible studies, which lead to me coming to Christ and choosing to follow God. I’m really thankful our church practices this. That first meeting was a huge part of my salvation and my decision to follow God.”
Brian says students in the college ministry often enjoy more depth in their relationships than in the high school ministry since, especially for those in the ministry house, they are able to spend more time together, beyond the twice-weekly schedule of the high school meetings. College Connection gives them a chance to see these deeper relationships in action, motivating the high schoolers toward including God in their plans for their future.
During the week juniors and seniors can attend a college Central Teaching and home church, and are encouraged to spend the weekend staying at a ministry house. They can take part in the Friday night cell groups and then enjoy hang out time with the college home church their high school group feeds into. The college groups come up with fun activities to engage the students—camping, scavenger hunts, dance parties—which gives them a chance to make friends and feel more at home. The time and opportunity is there for great conversations.
Saturday night (November 9th) high-schoolers gather for meetings at 4th Street and the Warehouse locations (with free pizza!) to help them learn more about the college ministry, and further encourage them to include it in their future plans.
Please support the college and high school students involved by praying for their time. Pray the high schoolers who would benefit from this weekend would be able to attend. Pray all involved will be open to what God is trying to communicate to them, comfortable talking with college students, and that they would have a great time getting a larger vision for walking with God in college. Pray also for the college students—for energy, positive attitudes about serving, creativity, and great connections with high schoolers that allow college students to emphasize what is true about following God in the upcoming years.