When I was in high school, I knew that I wanted to go to a Christian college. No, it wasn't for the spiritual atmosphere or unified religion - although that is certainly a plus. I knew I needed to go to a Christian college because my faith was weaker than watered-down water. I believed that if I went to a Christian college, I would be forced to attend chapels, worship services, and Bible teachings, and I thought that was what would shape my faith.
However, faith isn't something that an institution can force on you. Faith isn't a habit - it's not like you wake up every morning and go to chapel and, BAM! your walk with God just got 1000% easier because suddenly you're standing on one of those moving airport walkway things. That's just not how faith works.
God isn't looking for us to form a habit. Of course, habits can be good, but they often come with the connotation that the thing you are doing becomes effortless, meaningless, and intention-less. If there is anybody who deserves our intentionality, it is Christ. Just going through the motions is not worship - I wish I would have realized this sooner.
Here at Dordt, all the weekly ministry events (chapel, Praise & Worship, GIFT, Monday night worship, and the countless opportunities to connect through a Bible study group) are optional. I never ever ever would have thought, four years ago, that I would be at a college where chapel wasn't mandatory, but here I am, and let me tell you, my faith in Christ is far stronger because of it. I completely believe that, had I gone to a college where involvement in the ministry is required, I (because of my weak faith) would have made my pursuit of Jesus merely something to check off my to-do list.
He is worth far more than to be a small portion of our checklist. I believe that He wants our whole hearts thrown into worship. Jesus paid it all. All to Him, I owe.
If you can't tell, I'm a pretty big fan of worship. I think the way Dordt's worship arts team leads its congregation is spectacular. Every time I go to P&W, I can't help but get emotional. There's just so many people, all gathered in one place for one sole purpose - to lift our voices in praising our King.
And, Since I'm a digital media major, I just had to make a video about it:
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Jesus loves you lots.