College and My Faith-What Type of Worship Is Right for Me?

College Faith

Church bores me a lot of the time, and I think I can be just as good a Christian if I don’t go. So what’s the big deal?

We hear the question over and over again. There are so many people who find Jesus fascinating but want to know if going to church must be part of the deal of being a Christian. It’s easy to understand where they’re coming from, because in most instances, we’ve made the most dramatic movement in history dull.


Even if we convince you that going to church is a necessity for a Christian, you may still be perplexed and asking the question, “Which church?” There are all kinds of churches along the Christian spectrum, ranging from highly ritualistic congregations to free-wheeling and spontaneous. 


Despite the differences that exist between forms of worship or secondary doctrines, all Christians are united around the primary doctrines of who Jesus is, what He did for us, and what we owe Him – obedience to His will in gratitude for our salvation.


There are some Christians who feel a spiritual kinship with those congregations that are into enthusiastic worship – people praising God with uplifted hands, led by a worship team with guitars and drums. At Eastern College the students turn out in droves for chapel, even though chapel is voluntary.


At Duke University worship takes place in a great big neo-gothic, cathedral-like building with a big choir and four large pipe organs. It’s all very traditional, very liturgical, but by any means not dull. 


There is room for all kinds of music and worship in God’s kingdom. To paraphrase a passage of Scripture: “It’s not this kind of worship or that kind of worship that matters. God is a spirit, and those who worship God must do so in spirit and truth.” Furthermore, a close look at both praise music and the old hymns will demonstrate that each has some commendable virtues.


New converts, for the most part, seem to find themselves at home in the independent, newer churches and thrill to what they call the “real Christianity” that they find there. However, many of these people eventually transition to more traditional churches because they come to a place where sectarian Christianity doesn’t speak to them anymore. 


In reality, most of us believe that there will be many kinds of worship in heaven. And, if that is the case, we ought to learn to be more affirming of churches that are different from our own here on earth. Join a church that allows you to be who you are before God and gives expression to the kind of worship that feels right for you, but try not to think your way is the only way.


It may sound strange to an outsider, but we believe that worship is the ultimate destiny of the church. There are those who would make evangelism the thing that ultimately defines our raison d’etre. But the truth is that, in the end, evangelism is primarily recruiting people for a choir. Beyond time and history, evangelism will come to an end; but worship will never cease.


Campolo, Tony and William Willimon, The Survival Guide for Christians on Campus, West Monroe, LA, Howard Publishing, 2002. Used by Special Permission of Howard Publishing