Research suggests that around 45% of students from high school youth ministries toss their faith aside when they get to college. At the Fuller Youth Institute we’ve begun to describe this kind of faith like a jacket: it’s easy to take on or off given the situation, as opposed to a faith that becomes integrated into every part of a student’s life. And far too often for college students, once faith is tossed on the floor, it quickly gets shoved aside amid the competing priorities of college.
As you share this video with high school students, consider using the following questions to foster a discussion about faith and the transition to college (note: this could also be a great tool to use with college students to invite them to reflect on their own experiences, or with parents of high school students or other youth leaders as a window into the importance of faith integration).
Questions for Discussion
- What is your first response after watching this? What feelings or thoughts did it stir up?
- If the jacket represents this student’s faith in Christ, how would you describe that faith? What tends to happen to faith that can be taken on or off like a jacket? Why do you think that is?
- What happened to the students’ friends as the video went on? How could isolation from supportive community be part of the problem for students who are tempted to toss faith aside?
- One way people have described this kind of understanding of faith is that it’s mostly about behaviors—things we do or don’t do to act like a Christian. What would you say in response to that? How is that different from saying God’s grace through Jesus Christ is at the core of faith? (Check out Ephesians 2:1-10 for Paul’s response to this).
- What do you think a college student—or high school student—can do to keep their faith from becoming like a jacket? What would you say to people like the guy in the video who feel like they’ve blown it in some way and tossed their faith aside?