8By Dennis Trittin

It’s no secret that God created us to be in community with Him, and with our brothers and sisters. Life truly is about relationships, and for believers, one of the most special is belonging to a thriving faith community. It offers friendship, discipleship, encouragement, accountability, and prayer through our churches, the para-church, clubs, and small groups. We are strengthened when we participate in a faith community, both as givers and receivers.

To My Teens and Young Adult Friends

Chances are, if you’ve attended worship services in your life, you’ve gone with your parents. However, since many of you will eventually relocate or may have different preferences than your parents, you may need to find a new worship venue. Fortunately, most communities and colleges offer a wide range of choices, including spiritually focused organizations, for young adults.

If you’re committed to your spiritual growth, it’s important to connect with a faith community you can call your own (like Break Thru in I’m Not Ashamed). This includes a new church that fits your beliefs and preferences and great para-church options like Cru, Young Life, Intervarsity, and Navigators. They offer opportunities for worshiping, connecting, serving, and learning. They’re a great source of new friends—a big deal when you’re among a sea of strangers on a faraway campus.

With all of the new responsibilities and activities available in college, it’s easy for believing students to decline these opportunities. However, this will slow your spiritual growth. In fact, one of the common reasons that young people leave their faith is out of disinterest. Like many other aspects of life, you’ll get out of it what you put into it. So, be an investor in your spiritual growth by plugging into a faith community. You’ll be glad you did.

Are you plugged into a faith community? What is it offering you?

Read Part 2 here.

Dennis J. Trittin is the President and CEO of LifeSmart Publishing, LLC and the author of What I Wish I Knew at 18: Life Lessons for the Road Ahead; and Parenting for the Launch: Raising Teens to Succeed in the Real World. Learn more at http://www.dennistrittin.com.