There are probably a thousand reasons why I love the college students who attend Mercy Hill Church! But with their return for the fall semester I thought I would go ahead and post three.
- Our college students are courageous. The college students I know from Mercy Hill are very bold with their faith. They fully understand the environment they live in is hostile to the Gospel yet it doesn’t scare them; it seems to embolden them. Now, I am not totally sure why this is the case though it is my observation. It may be that before we all get old and have kids and mortgages we are generally more courageous about life. Then again, it may be that God has given this generation a zeal for His name that is just plain special. So while I am not sure why, I am sure it is there. One way I know is that college students make up a very large portion of our baptism numbers every year. As our students courageously live on mission for Jesus in a tough environment, Jesus is changing people and receiving glory.
- Our college students put their yes on the table. For the last 3 years, some of the most willing participants in God’s global mission from Mercy Hill have come from our college crowd. A great example of this is our summer Sent Initiative. Last summer we had around a dozen students who raised support, interned with our church, and went on two mission trips in something called the City Project. This summer, as our Sent Initiative expanded, we saw that number almost triple with students not only participating in City Project, but others actually living over seas or on mission right here in the Triad. Our students, it seems, take seriously Jesus’ call to be the Lord of their lives. They do what He says do and go where He says go.
- Our college students raise the spiritual climate of the entire church. I don’t want to give a wrong impression about how much of our crowd is made up of college students. Right now our best guess is that they make up about 20% of our congregation. While that number is significant, we are far from being a “college church”. With that said, when that 20% is missing you can feel it! Not simply from the lack of numbers, but from the energy and spiritual vitality they bring. We have all heard that college students are poor, and that is probably true enough from a financial standpoint, but they are rich in Spirit. I know personally I rejoice when our students return because their worship pushes me and my family to worship with more abandon.
In short, I praise God that He has given our church these warriors of the faith to steward! Mercy Hill, let us be grateful for them, encourage them, and pray for them throughout this semester.
– Andrew Hopper (Lead Pastor)