Words of Warriors When Being a Christian is "Normal"
What does it look like to truly follow Jesus at a school where being Christian is "normal"?
The Church has always been called to be a radical, subversive, gospel-announcing movement. I think about the faithful women and men throughout history and around the globe who have faced persecution for following Christ as King. What, then, are we supposed to look like at Westmont—a place where following Jesus doesn’t seem that risky or countercultural? I think it’s easy for us to grow apathetic towards the Gospel. I believe that following Christ is supposed to look far more radical—and beautiful—than we think.
I'm not an expert, I’m not a pastor, and I’m not a religious scholar; I definitely don’t have it all figured out. But during my past three years at Westmont, I have wrestled with this question, and I’ve found the following things have helped me see what following Christ looks like in a place where it’s not necessarily hard to be a Christian.
Prioritize your personal time with the Lord. (Matthew 6:6)
It's seemingly easy to pursue the Lord when everyone can see you. But what about when you’re alone and no one is watching? I think it’s often there that Jesus meets us. As we seek to cultivate a personal relationship with Christ through prayer and reading Scripture, I believe we begin to hear His voice better. We get to know our friends far better when we spend time with them individually, and I believe it works the same way with Jesus. The way we live in public will overflow from our personal lives with Christ.
Find a community of brothers and sisters who encourage you in your faith and hold you accountable. (Galatians 6:1-2)
In a place where being a Christian is “normal,” it’s easy to assume everyone is fine. This often results in a lack of vulnerability and accountability. The Lord has given us community for a reason, and this is one of the reasons why I love Westmont. There are many people here who are seeking to passionately follow Christ alongside other brothers and sisters. When we encourage one another and call each other out about sin, we actually grow in Christ and we grow closer together.
Get involved in a good local church. (Ephesians 4:11-16)
While Westmont’s Chapel program, ministry programs, and religious studies classes are incredible resources, they aren’t replacements for the local church. As Christ followers, we need to gather together with other believers who are different from us. This not only edifies us in the faith, but allows us to use our own spiritual gifts to strengthen a church family.
Continually ask the Lord for more of Himself. (1 John 5:14)
The beauty of the Gospel is it shows us that God—through the person of Jesus Christ—longs to reveal Himself to us in greater ways. Throughout the book of Acts, the Lord is continually pouring out His Spirit on His people. May we be a people who ask for more of His Spirit and a greater awareness of His presence. Praise God that He hears the longings of our hearts!