By Drew Larson

How to Have a Stale Relationship with Jesus (And How to Actually Grow in Your Faith in College)

When Jesus said, “I have come to bring life, and life to the fullest,” he actually, truly, 100 percent meant that. Many of us wish we’d known that when we started college. Maybe the faith you’ve brought to campus is a mix of a “chore list” and “suspicion”— stuff you know you’re supposed to be doing, and stuff you’re not sure is worth doing.

But Jesus said, “life to the fullest,” and he meant it. Where your heart is insecure, fearful, tired, pulled in a thousand directions, Jesus came to give you freedom, rest, confidence, purpose, and wholeness. Life to the fullest. And by the time you graduate, you can actually, truly, 100 percent start having it. Here are some helpful ways to start.

1. Start Together

If you struggle to read the Bible and pray on your own, start with group practices instead! Join a campus ministry like InterVarsity and make prayer meetings, communal Bible studies, and worship nights the foundation of your spiritual life. Start with “together” first and grow your personal rhythms from there.

2. Small Habits

Whatever is literally the smallest amount of daily prayer and Scripture you can manage each day, do that. Start with saying the Lord’s Prayer and reading ONE Psalm each day. Set an alarm on your phone as a daily reminder––whatever part of the day works best for you!

If you need a guide, use apps like YouVersion (which has free InterVarsity Bible studies! Just search “InterVarsity.”), Lectio 365, or Bible.IS.

3. Nail the Basics

Fundamentals are the foundation for anything, including your spiritual life. If you go through college with consistent practices of Scripture, prayer, worship, and serving others, when you graduate, you’ll barely recognize yourself compared to your first day on campus. Even better, you’ll have a foundation that sets you up for more of God’s transformation in the future. NAIL. THE. BASICS.

4. Learn About Yourself

Deep transformation begins by exploring the terrain of your heart. Get curious about your inner life—ask questions like “What am I feeling right now and why?” and “Does my self-talk reflect how God sees me, and (if not) where/how did I learn that?” Together with Jesus and your community, learn to understand your story, how it’s shaped you “under the surface,” and where God might want to bring healing or set you free.

This blog was adapted from InterVarsity's Freshmen College Guide. For more tips on starting college, download the guide here.

The best way to grow your faith in college? Join a spiritual community like InterVarsity on your campus! Sign up to join a community by clicking the button below.

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Drew Larson works as a writer on InterVarsity’s Communications Team in Madison, Wisconsin. You can buy his book hereYou can support his ministry with InterVarsity here