Saturday, February 25, 2012

Christians on Campus: Fellowship, the Word of God, and Prayer


Every Christian has a story. Have I ever told you mine? 

In this post, I will focus on my experience as a Christian since I arrived in college at the University of Texas in Austin, in particular my experience with a club called Christians on Campus. If you want the full version, I would be happy to tell you in person!


I moved across half the country to attend UT. When I arrived in Austin, I knew virtually nobody. One of my priorities was to get connected with other Christians. Fortunately, one of the few people I did know helped me to find a group called Christians on Campus. The first week of school, I went to Freshmen Connect, a welcome event for new students. Since then, my experience with the group has been awesome; I’ve been learning to live a normal, daily Christian life.

Christian Fellowship

My freshman year at UT, I built the habit of having Christian fellowship with other believers on a daily basis. In high school, what I considered an adequate pursuit of the Lord consisted of a weekly church meeting, an uplifting retreat every few months, and the occasional reading of a Bible verse or two. But when I arrived at UT and started meeting with Christians on Campus, I quickly discovered that these people were much more serious than that! Their pursuit of the Lord was not occasional, not weekly, but daily. During the course of my freshmen year, I began meeting and having fellowship with other believers every day of the week in Bible studies and small groups. I started to see a glimpse of the church life as described in Acts 2:46 – “day by day” and “house to house.”

Reading the Word of God

My second year at UT, I built the habit of reading the Bible on a daily basis. Some other students from Christians on Campus were doing a 90 day New Testament reading schedule, and I decided to jump in. For me, reading the Bible had always been a chore, something I knew I should do but didn’t always enjoy. Many times, I had the all-too-common experience of starting in Genesis or Matthew, only to fizzle out before reaching Numbers or Acts. This time, however, I started reading with companions. Each day, we texted each other verses that we enjoyed. Mysteriously, I started to gain a real appetite for the Word of God. I can honestly say that reading the Bible is now something I look forward to every day.

A Habit of Prayer

My third year at UT has been a year of learning to pray with others. Building an atmosphere of prayer with close Christian friends is not easy, but I have been learning to pray with others on a daily basis. This matter is a little bit harder to explain in words, but I feel like Galatians 6:2 does a pretty good job: “Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ completely.” Both in scheduled times of prayer and spontaneous times of prayer, I am learning to let others bear my burdens by praying with them.

Fellowship, the Word of God, and prayer are three crucial elements of our Christian life. I am thankful to the Lord that through my experience with Christians on Campus at UT, He has built these habits into my daily life.

P.S. You can also read a more detailed testimony from this past fall semester.

20 comments:

SimplyKatherine said...

Leon, thank you for sharing your testimony. I'm wondering though how exactly have these habits helped your human life as a Christian, living the student life on campus?

I mean how do they affect your being? Because sometimes I do fellowship with other Christians, read the Bible, and pray some but other times, I feel like I can go on without them. What is the key that would make you so desperate to make these part of your living? Or what realization did you come to concerning these habits?

Leon Dean said...

Good question, Katherine. I think being around other believers who had these habits helped me to make them part of my own living. Obviously, it is difficult to have fellowship without other believers. But in reality, it is difficult to read the word and to pray without other believers, as well. I am thankful for the Christians, both older and younger than me, that have been patterns to me.

achristianoncampus said...

This is an encouraging testimony. I especially appreciated the matter of praying with others and learning to bear one another's burdens. This really does seem like a key to a healthy - and sustained - Christian life. It's easy to drop out of the Christian race if we're running it alone, but with companions it's a lot better - and easier.

dearabbyjean said...

What a great blog...content and appearance. Love it!

SimplyKatherine said...

You're right, Leon. Many times I'm still having a hard time to read the Bible by myself consistently. I guess having others to encourage you really help.

In your experience, how do you find those people? Like your companions, or someone to fellowship with? Are they in Christians on Campus?

Leon Dean said...

Often I find people through those I already know. At first, I only knew a couple people in Christians on Campus, but through them I was introduced to more seeking believers who helped me read the Bible and pray.

lifeandbuilding.com said...

Sounds like you established some great spiritual fundamentals. All great coaches know it always comes down to the basics. How many basketball games have been lost at the free throw line? Thanks for sharing.

dennis said...

this is really encouraging to continue to pursue the Lord!!

pjbixby said...

Hi Leon. I appreciate your mention of having a daily Christian life. That is so inspiring, and at the same time it is so very different than the typical Christian in America whose thought is meeting with other Christians only once a week. It is refreshing to read your testimony!

Jonnybravo said...

Leon, I am so glad that your Christian life has changed so much since you began college! Most people go in the other direction. Thank the Lord for a healthy group that has brought you to the Lord and enriched your Christian life in this way. I hope I get enriched with the Lord Jesus Christ the same way you have.

Logan said...

Thank you for your testimony! It is so encouraging to be able to read the bible with those close to you and to be able to pray for one another as well. Keep up the practice!

RJ Ponder said...

Wow this is really encouraging! I've come to a point where I've realized that reading the bible gives me nourishment and "fuel" for the day, but still many times it is a chore. But enjoying the word with other Christians has been a big help! It was great to get connected with Christians a little older than me to enjoy the Word with them. They are a real pattern and I'm learning to love the Word too!

Anna said...

I enjoyed reading about your experience throughout years at UT. Recently I also have realized how important it is to read the Bible and have a time of prayer everyday. It is so awesome that you have some to pursue with in college.

Anonymous said...

Dear Brother Leon,
My heart was filled with joy when reading your testimony because of your growth in life over these past three years. Your progress shows that the Lord has been operating in your heart and will continue to operate in you to take you further for His goal and purpose. By your going to Austin, You put your strength in the Lord and He has surely put you on the highway to Zion, even in your heart and brought you to the saints. Jehovah loves the gates of Zion! Praise the Lord He does not stop here. His heart is set on Zion and He will surely get what He is after. The matter of reading the word of God is not a small thing. This is the way to deify man to make man one with God in life and in nature which is His move today to recover this earth to bring Him back. Every day we need to endeavor to eat His word as our food for nourishment to be constituted as God-men to carry out His eternal economy. This is our desperate need to match the Lord's need: To learn to be men of prayer, praying that the Lord's heart would be duplicated in our heart in every possible way to bring in His kingdom on this Earth today. Praise the Lord my brother Leon!
Your Brother,
Edward Steele

Anonymous said...

What a great experience! I'm also learning to pray daily with other Christians. My roommate and I pray together every night, and it has been such an awesome experience!

Mark S. said...

"First we make our habits, then our habits make us." Charles Noble

Reading the Bible is probably the best habit you can ever cultivate.

Anonymous said...

I'm really blessed reading your experience . Truly reading the Word, praying with other believers help us to run the race together . Spiritual companion is really very helpful in pursuing the Lord.

Anonymous said...

Found your blog by surfing. Great comtent and I will try to stay tuned.....

Anonymous said...

wonderful experience....it encourage me to go on more in my christian life...
anonymous

Leon Dean said...

Thanks everybody for the comments. It's very encouraging to me to know that my experience has encouraged others!

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