Everyone comes to Redeemer with different stories, different backgrounds and different reasons for different majors, different purposes and different goals. But, there is one thing that unites us: we are all at a Christian university.
This is my challenge to you: to keep and grow your faith during your time at Redeemer. I can hear your responses already, “How hard can that be? Isn’t Redeemer a Christian university?” Hear me out.
I have grown to appreciate that the professors pray before class, chapel is held on campus every Wednesday, and dorms openly hold spontaneous worship sessions on their porches. However, these are exactly the kinds of things that can have a way of making you feel too comfortable with your spot in the “Redeemer bubble”. I’m not saying for a moment that the bubble is bad. I like the bubble! But get too comfy in this bubble for one moment, and you will not succeed in meeting my challenge!
The presence of prayer, chapel and worship does not mean everything is always going to be happy and easy. During your time at Redeemer you will most likely struggle and hurt for reasons that may or may not be school-related. When these moments hit, the first part of my challenge to you is not to fall into the idea that just because you’re in a safe, Christian environment, moments of struggle and hurt won’t affect you. The second part of my challenge to you is to use the people and events at Redeemer to help you keep and grow your faith. Whether you choose to interact with professors, RA’s or porchmates will be up to you and whether or not you choose to attend chapel, HotSpot, or Church-in-the-Box will also be up to you. There are people and events available to you, but it’s a two-way relationship. Your RA will be there for you, but I challenge you to let them be your mentor. Church-in-the-Box will always happen once a month, but I challenge you to attend and make an effort to soak in the worship and the message.
The third and final part of my challenge to you is this: step out of the bubble once in a while. It’s a good bubble, but why keep it to yourself? Perhaps you’ll even surprise yourself at how you might be able to keep and grow your faith when you get off campus and get involved with a downtown ministry or a kids club at a local church. I know it surprised me.
About the author: Sharon Ngai is a recent graduate of Redeemer’s Religion & Theology and Social Work programs. While a student at Redeemer, she was involved in multiple on- and off-campus ministries.