Thoughts For TAG Seniors

Fifteen years ago, I chose where I would go to college while sitting with my dad at a little bagel shop in Oklahoma City. As a senior in high school, I had spent many hours devouring stacks of college information packets, taking tests and talking with my friends about where to go to college. I remember a surge of relief and excitement intermingled as I finally came to a conclusion. Many TAG seniors already know their next step, but some are still wrestling with it. I wish you great success and offer you a few thoughts as well.
Make sure you connect with a passionate community of faith. Today, one’s college years are the primary season that Christians become disconnected from the local church. Thus, it’s easier to slowly lose fervor and faith. Your college years are pivotal years to grow deeper in Christ and not allow your relationship with God to cool. Make your college years good to you by choosing an environment where you will grow in authentic passion for God.
When I went off to college, I was aware of a church over three hundred miles away that seemed to be alive with worship, prayer and discipleship. As I prayed about where to go to college, I felt that I desired to connect in that church. Yet, I really wanted to start chipping away at my education too. So, I found a college twenty minutes from the church and enrolled. I became heavily involved in that church while still going to college. It was a great season for me. Consider heavily which local church you will be a part of before you decide where to go to college.
Trust sages that love you and are authentically trustworthy. Over the years, I have asked so many older men for counsel. Since I have always known that I wanted to be a pastor, I asked pastors what they thought I should do. Yet, I have found it almost comical how most of them encouraged me to do whatever they did. If they went to Seminary, they encouraged me to as well. If they went straight into ministry out of high school, they encouraged me to do the same. If they received a degree from a state school, then I should too. I have found this to be true of friends too. Often, friends want you to do what they are doing. It’s almost funny how often this happens! I encourage you to really listen to those people that you believe love you the most and that you really trust. Their counsel will probably be the best.
Finally, your late teens and twenties will be the easiest time in your life to go to college. It’s just the way American culture works. Sure, exceptions exist. Yet, this window of time is a season where many are single and able to take classes and study. I believe wholeheartedly in taking a season out to pursue God and grow deep in Him through a discipleship program like Desperation Leadership Academy or Honor Academy. Yet, you don’t want to take too long out of school either. Both of these programs and many like them have ways for you to earn college credit while in the program. That’s great. However, in my nearly ten years of being a pastor, I have watched some students not return to college. They are often allured by the opportunity to be independent and go do new and exciting things. In principle, I would encourage those who do discipleship programs to return to college after the conclusion of your discipleship program.
Of course, listening to the Holy Spirit and being obedient to God remains the most important thing. Where God leads, you follow! I’m praying for God to direct each of your paths as you pray and trust in Him.