Lexington is a college-town - a young city with a rotating number of students passing through. This year's incoming freshman class at UK is the largest in history. The school is growing in numbers and influence.
I still believe the decisions people make between ages 18-24 shape the rest of their lives. It's critical that believers and churches are having influence on young adults in their late teens and early twenties.
Here are some facts I've observed about young people in a college town:
1). There's too much going on. There's an event somewhere everyday. It's a fight for attention. Don't take "no" as a personal rejection. For every "yes," that young adult said "no" to 20 other things, people and events.
2). These 7 years can be the best times spiritually for young adults. Single, no children, little responsibility - what an opportunity to spend time with God, be committed to missions, and experience personal revival!
I was at UK's BCM two nights ago and met some outstanding young disciples. An excited, young believer has a lifetime ahead of him to devote to the Lord. John Piper wrote a book about this, Don't Waste Your Life.
3). You have to begin the friendship. If you're waiting for teens to come to you, you'll be waiting and waiting. Discover their interests, passions, and step into their lives. This ministry won't fall into your lap. Children's ministry falls into your lap, not student or college ministry.
When I was 18, I was discipled by my youth pastor in the basement of his church-owned home. When I was 23, a man from Campus Outreach met with me weekly at a Mediterranean restaurant.
Today's college students are tomorrow's influencers. College towns are exciting because of the potential impact of who's there. What a blessing for someone to come to Lexington, Tuscaloosa or Auburn and say, "I came to college to learn, but most importantly, I found Christ!"