Monday, January 13, 2014

Youth Workers. . . Help Students to Use Their Heads. . . And $1000 For College!

Fifty years ago, Harry Blamires - a student of C.S. Lewis - wrote these seven words at the beginning of his book The Christian Mind: "There is no longer a Christian mind." Blamires was lamenting our growing willingness and inability to think Christianly about all of life. "The Christian mind," wrote Blamires, "is the prerequisite of Christian thinking. And Christian thinking is the prerequisite of Christian action."

Now, fifty years later these words still ring true. . . perhaps even more true. . . as we admit that very few of us and even fewer of our kids know how or even endeavor to think in ways that bring honor and glory to God. How we think and what we think has moved beyond the bounds of discipleship. We allow our minds to be formed, shaped, and filled by "whatever."

When Jesus called us to "come and follow," he was calling us to follow in our totality. . . heart, soul, strength, and  mind. Everything. All that we have, are, and ever hope to be. Head to foot. Inside and outside. Here at CPYU, the purpose of our College Transition Initiative and the work being done by Derek Melleby is all about challenging and equipping students to go beyond the accepted status quo ("whatever") to a more intentional willingness to follow God into college. Leaving for college doesn't have to mean leaving your faith.

In an effort to encourage students to ask good questions about their upcoming college experience, our College Transition Initiative is sponsoring an essay contest for college-bound high school seniors. Students are being invited to submit an 800 - 1350 word essay answering the question, "How will you follow Jesus to college?" Not only is this a great opportunity for students to crystallize their thinking and use their minds to unpack what the next phase of life will look like, but four winning essays will be chosen, with each winner receiving a $1,000 cash prize and a gift certificate to Hearts and Minds Bookstore!

Youth workers. . . I know that you're concerned about the current state of college transition for your Christian students. We've chatted about it over and over. Now, we're inviting you to spur your kids on by encouraging them to think and write strategically about what it means to follow Jesus onto the college campus.

I want to invite you to check out the CTI website and the information on the essay contest. You can also download a pdf of the essay context details here. The deadline for submissions - January 31 - is fast approaching! Get your students thinking and writing now!

1 comment:

Byron Borger said...

Thanks, Walt. As always, this is so well written and captures so much that is distinctive about your wise and important work. So, way to go.

I've posted about this, btw, at the CCO staff page, and at the alumni page there. I assume those folks know well the importance of having incoming first year students already thinking a bit about their own faithfulness when they hit campus in the fall.

Maybe this will help them "Make College Count" as Derek's book puts it. Yay.