A Letter to College Students


Adam Gibson, the author of this post, serves as one of our vision team pastors along with Allen Tipping, and is one of our primary teaching pastors. To find out more about our leadership, visit our

Leadership page.

College Adam

I loved college. I loved it so much that I stayed for a fifth year of it. I love college students and having so many of you in our church family. God changed my life while I was in college. I didn’t know who I was going to be or what my life would be about and God blew me up, primarily through putting me around a group of guys who were normal guys with an abnormal love for Jesus. I had never seen guys my age who were regular guys but really loved Jesus and wanted to follow him and see others follow him. God used it to change my life, call me to ministry; eventually through those relationships I met my wife…all during my time in college.

Why You Matter

Then when we were starting our church, we were primarily made up of college students. Students who faithfully served and ministered and helped us get going as a church. Students who were just crazy enough to believe in a vision to see a church become a Jesus-centered family on mission in Columbia. We absolutely would not be the church we are today apart from the amazing, godly, Jesus loving college students that God has brought our way through the years, including you who are here now.

With a new school year approaching, I want to encourage you to own your time in college, particularly how God might work in you and through you during your time in Columbia. I genuinely believe that our church is set up in way that, if we can get four years of your life, upon your graduation you will be sent out with the tools you need for a lifetime of following Jesus wherever you go. So take advantage of it!

Getting the Most out of College

I believe there are several practicals that will help you to get the absolute most out of your time in college:

  • Get into a LifeGroup. Work to cultivate those relationships into deep, Jesus-oriented friendships.
  • Serve. Pick a way to serve and give back to church family, and don’t just take. Make our church your family, not just a place you go on Sunday. Use the gifts and talents God has given you…we need you! And, you will grow through serving and giving even more than you will through simply consuming what others are doing for you.
  • Pursue outsiders. Be intentional in building relationships with your friends who are not believers and invite them around our church family. Start the year by taking advantage of the First Week events going on and by bringing people with you. Pray that God would run them down just like he ran me down when I was in college!

Overall, own your time here–don't just drift.

I’m glad that summer is coming to a close. Our church isn’t fully “us” when you guys are gone. If the church really is like a family, then I’m looking forward to you being back home, with us. See you soon!