The Pros and Cons of Advice

Each year when I meet new students that are looking to get involved with our church or campus ministry I give them a few pieces of advice that I give all the students I meet. One of those pieces of advice is to find a ministry and church and commit to it.  Many students make the mistake of filling their schedules with as many Bible studies and Christian activities as possible.  This seems like a good idea on the surface, but in practice it severely limits the amount of time that students spend with non-Christian students, which means they are not actually trying to fulfill the purpose that God has given them in college. To prevent students from falling into this trap, I really encourage them to find one small group and church and commit to it, without jumping around.

Typically I have a sense of accomplishment when someone follows my advice, however last night my first emotion was frustration.

Last night no one attended our campus small group. This makes the second week in row that we cancelled the group.  Realistically, our group is dead. In the midst of the frustration and the inevitable thoughts of failure, I began to realize that the reason the small group died is because everyone followed my advice. All of the members of our group also attend other campus ministries’ big group meetings and small group Bible studies in addition to our Wednesday night meeting. While I can’t speak for anyone other than myself, I have enough experience to know that our group was that secondary for our students.

Regardless of the reasons why the students are not coming to our small group anymore, I do know that they are still seeking to follow and serve God in other ministries.  So whether or not they did it intentionally the students are following my advice.  They are choosing one ministry and committing to it, and it’s not mine.  I am no longer frustrated, but content knowing that I used what time I had wisely.

Only give advice you want others to follow. Be willing to give good advice even when it’s not beneficial for you.


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