Big Red Welcome to Freshmen

The Sunday before school starts is always a night full of energy, excitement, fun, and, of course, food.

Today is the Big Red Welcome street fair on campus. Almost 5,000 freshmen are going to start the first day of their college careers tomorrow. Tonight, Campus Crusade, along with hundreds of other student organizations are vying for their attention, allegiance, and phone numbers.

What’s our goal in getting information from students? Simply, we want to connect with them on a deeply personal level. We want them to know they are loved and cared for. We want them to know they are somebody–that they matter to us.

And to God.

Freshmen can be so funny. Parents follow them everywhere. They are embarrassed, yet at the same time they don’t want the parents to leave at the end of the weekend. A familiar passage comes to mind when I think of freshmen coming to town.

In Matthew 19:14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” Now, what in the world does that have to do with 18 year-old students? It might seem strange that this verse came to mind. But, it has so much to do with them! They are so young, impressionable, and ignorant to the world around them. Most of these students have lived a sheltered, suburban or farm-town lifestyle. They haven’t experience true independence, just like a little child. Furthermore, freshmen can be considered less-thans or non-importants. Not to us and not to God, either.

Jesus says, “Bring to me the ones who are the less-thans, the young ones who no one else will care for and I’ll take care of them.” We want these freshmen to experience true, life-changing community. We want these freshmen to see, meet, experience, and delight in Christ more than anything.

Let them come to us tonight and Lord willing, may we lead them to the fountain where they can drink and never thirst again.