Home > Books, Faith, Youth Workers > Following Jesus into College and Beyond

Following Jesus into College and Beyond

Jeff is a friend of mine that just finished a book that is great for high schoolers, especially students who are graduating this year. I’ve read his book and am excited for any teen who really wants to be on solid footing in this trying time of life. Anyway, here are a few thoughts from Jeff.

Have you noticed you can customize just about everything these days? Think about it: Cars have custom designs from the front bumper to the muffler. (And that’s just the outside of the car!) If you have a cell phone (and if you don’t, you need one before you leave for college), you know you can choose your own skin, ringtone, and display, morphing it into personalized eye candy. Your computer’s desktop is arranged just the way you like it. You can customize your MySpace or Facebook page until it stands out from that of your friends.

And how about coffee? I love coffee. I remember when the only choice to make when ordering was whether to add sugar or cream; but that’s not how it goes today. Now the jingle goes something like this: “I’ll take a grande, low-fat, iced carmel macchiato with extra carmel drizzle.” (Okay, maybe forget the low-fat part.) I was so proud the last time I ordered a latte because all the boxes on the side of the cup were checked. They even took my name and wrote it on the cup. It was customized, baby!

And how about coffee? I love coffee. I remember when the only choice to make when ordering was whether to add sugar or cream; but that’s not how it goes today. Now the jingle goes something like this: “I’ll take a grande, low-fat, iced carmel macchiato with extra carmel drizzle.” (Okay, maybe forget the low-fat part.) I was so proud the last time I ordered a latte because all the boxes on the side of the cup were checked. They even took my name and wrote it on the cup. It was customized, baby!

But what about the life of a teenager? Can parents, youth workers, and pastors help customize their lives? As they make this transition from high school to life after high school-which might mean college, work, or both we have a great opportunity to help them customize their lives, to make it their own. For many of them this is as exciting as it comes. Teenagers have been waiting and longing for years to enter the “real world.” Other students may find it mostly terrifying-all the responsibilities that come with the adult world might have them hiding in their closet.

As those  that care about the next generation falling more in love with Jesus and connecting to the local church, we need to come alongside them with support and care so they customize their lives according to God’s best! In my book, Following Jesus into College and Beyond, I address three critical themes every adolescent is working on if not outwardly, intuitively. Identity, Choices and Belonging are critical themes we need to help every teenager address as they make this important transition out of high school. In the book, there are chapters helping parents and youth workers walk through these themes with students. Consider using the book in your home or ministry.

Thank you for your investment in students lives. Blessings on the journey!

Jeff Baxter is the Pastor of Singles and Student Ministries at Foothills Bible Church in Littleton, Colorado. He used to live and serve in Fort Wayne. Following Jesus into College and Beyond can be purchased at www.amazon.com. Stay up with Jeff at www.sacredoutfitter.blogspot.com

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Categories: Books, Faith, Youth Workers
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