After just 3 and a half years of studying while still serving in church, there is one thing I’ve realised to be true to most students: It feels impossible to be both a Christian who serves faithfully in church and still achieve academic excellence. Drawing close to exam season, church commitments do not fade away and trying to find the balance is tough. The only option we seem to have is choose one and let the other take a back seat until our next season.
However, there is a loophole to this choice. And that loophole is that we don’t have to choose. All we have to do is realise that maybe our definition of “Christian” has been adjusted to “church-goer”. As a Christian we are called to build church, no doubt about that but more importantly, we need to go out into the world (shocker) and make disciples.
My greatest battle was realising these 5 things as a full-time-Christian-full-time-student.
Be certain of what you’re called to.
God is pretty patient and so understanding. If you feel called to a certain ministry but you aren’t too sure, ask Him for confirmation. At one point in my life I was so sure I was called to be an accountant. Despite everyone telling me it didn’t make sense for me to go that route, accounting seemed like a stable and well-paying career choice. When I dared ask God where He wanted me, I realised that what I was called to scared me so much that it was easier to run away from it. Jonah did this so if you plan on trying it out, go read his story in the bible and see how well it works out (spoiler alert: it doesn’t work out).
Never apologise for pursuing your calling.
It. Is. Your. Calling. That means at the end of the day, God is the only one who has a say in what you’re doing. People have different views on what the Christian life should look like and sometimes what they think will differ from the life you lead. But are you pursuing what GOD has called you to or what your leader expects from you?
Building church doesn’t excuse you from your calling.
I’m not going to lie, I read my bible a whole lot more when I have exams to study for. Does that increase my marks? Unfortunately not. Some of us are called to full-time ministry BUT most of us are called to be in business, to be a doctor, an entrepreneur, a teacher. Maybe you’re called to take over a family business but you really want to be a worship leader, or maybe you are called to plant a church but you already have a successful practice. Running the race God set apart for you may be scary and uncomfortably stretching but getting to the finish line is so much more satisfying than running someone else’s race.
Learn to say yes well
Serving everywhere can do more damage than good. Someone once told me that although you can be good at many things, it is better to be great at a select few. Not all opportunities given are from God.
Apply biblical principles everywhere
The bible is a story of Jesus and the lengths God will go to in the pursuit of us. But it doesn’t stop there. The bible has every day tips on how to live a Godly life (check Psalms 119:9) and separating the word of God from our lives is an easy self-destructing method.
In everything, ask yourself
- Am I honouring God through this?
- Is this setting an example of love and leadership?
- How am I making disciples of those around me?