Campus Ministry Matters

The seeds of Faith

I’m working on finally get the blog up by the way… Please help encourage me to write every day…

The Seed of Faith

“The Kingdom of God is a like a man who went out and sowed seed.  Some fell on the rocky ground, some on the path, some on the soil…etc” Matthew 13

Ok so I paraphrased this passage.  Most of us know it.  But lately, I’ve been toying with what it means on a college campus.

I believe college is the place where the seeds of faith either go to be grounded and solidified or where they go to die.  Think about it.  The seeds of any plant are a product of a tremendous amount of energy and a complex process that ultimately results in the tiniest and most fragile piece of life we can imagine.  If it finds a good place to grow, it will grow.  But if it is not provided just the perfect soil, not provided the right amount of water, or if it lands in the wrong place, it is ultimately doomed.  And I believe this tells us much about college students and faith.

When you graduate from high school, you’ve had no more than 18 years of church teachings.  Most persons have had less, but there is a spiritual part of most every one of us.  Even the atheists believe in something that seems at times spiritual to me.  But when you get to college, the seed of faith comes to find it’s fate.  If it is dropped on rocky ground or on a path, or in the bushes, it probably will die.  If it is falls on good soil, it has a changed.  That is where we come in.

I believe campus ministry is the good soil.  Well, at least some campus ministry is.  Campus ministry that seeks to convert, to overwhelm, to intimidate, that’s not good soil at all.  If you’ve ever met an 18 year old who is on the fence about Christianity, then introduced them to the more fundamentalist and in your face Christians like CRU, well pretty quickly we see that the seed of faith is charred.  In fact, I would guess that most on the fence Christians have made up their minds to walk away within about 3-4 weeks because of the tactics many of these groups present them with on campus.

But there is hope.  But it comes from finding the good soil.  We have to be the good soil.  We have the be the place where the seed of faith might find enough nutrients to root.  We have to be the place where conversations involving doubt and hostility of the church can be welcomed and not cast aside.  We have to be the place where the seed of faith that is but so fragile can find enough light to have a chance.  That light of Christ for us as Christians comes when we are willing to remove our fear of whether of not they will be a member of our particular denomination or even whether they are interested in being Christian.  We can see in our eyes the most fragile faith of a college student.  So that question I ask is always what we are to do with that.

So my question for all of you becomes how are you being good soil?  What have you done to provide those nutrients to be present in your communities of faith and how are people coming to find that good soil?  I fear unless we all become of good soil, the seeds of faith will perish like so many before.

I would love your responses.

One thought on “The seeds of Faith”

  1. Are these seeds, seeds of faith or seeds of the spiritual journey. I used to think that these seeds represented a person’s life. I felt sorry for those who dried up right away. Then I began to look at this differently. These are different spiritual experiences.

    Every human being is spiritual. It does not matter if they have a faith or not. Every human being is a creation of the divine. Every human being seeks to know “Why am I here?” or “What is my purpose?” or “Where am I going?” or even “Who am I?”

    I tend not to label any group this or that. I remember when I was a neo-fundamentalist myself. It was a safe way to believe. It offered something secure on the spiritual path. I see it as a stage of spiritual development. Some may move through it early in life, others move through it later in life and some do not move through it ever in their life. Some may never even have to move into it at all.

    The journey of life is varied and filled with many different paths and experiences and adventures and challenges. How can I say what is good for another being? The only thing I am sure of is love, Divine Love, Mercy and Compassion.

    The soil could be the hearts of human beings. At different stages in life or even for a specific event or experience. I might have a heart that is closed to the issue of Justice for the Palestinians because I am blinded by an over commitment to the idea of a Zion state. Therefore, when the prophetic words of a justice solution for Israel and Palestine falls on my heart, the soil is too dry and the prophetic word is dried up. My heart must be cultivated and transformed by the Divine into good soil.

    At the very same time, I might have a heart that is very open and receptive (good soil) for justice for Gays and Lesbians. So when the prophetic word of equality and justice for all of God’s children falls on my heart, my heart which is receptive and soft and fertile, the prophetic word (seed) can take root and grow and blossom.

    How do I become good soil? Open my heart. Do not judge unless I be judged by the same standard. Accept all people as the wonderful gift they are. All people! I can not do anything about another person. I can only do something about myself. With right attitude, right intent, right effort, right speech, right action, and being an empty reed, I can let the light of the Divine flow through me.

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