What keeps students from connecting with God?

Brad M. Griffin

This week we’re hosting a small group of folks helping us explore what it looks like to help teenagers develop faith rhythms that stick with them beyond our ministries and homes.  Thanks to a generous donor, we have a grant supporting this exploration over the coming year.  

One of the things we learned in our Sticky Faith research was that high school and college students don’t tend to have very robust prayer lives.  While we were not able to explore that very deeply, we did ask college students to share about some of the obstacles they faced in engaging faith practices.  From their responses, here were some of the primary themes we heard:

  • Time—making space for God in the midst of balancing other priorities and managing your own schedule is tough. 
  • Relationships—suddenly you don’t know other Christians and have to decide if you’re going to show up by yourself at a campus group or church.  You also may not have accountability relationships with people who remind you to stay connected in your faith.
  • God may begin to seem distant, uninvolved, or even irrelevant to college life.

When you think about (and ask) the college students you know what hinders them from connecting with God, what do you hear?  And what can we do to support them in ways that keep them connected to God across the transition? 


Published Nov 02, 2011
Brad M. Griffin

Brad M. Griffin is the Associate Director of the Fuller Youth Institute, where he develops research-based training for youth workers and parents. A speaker, blogger, and volunteer youth pastor, Brad is also the coauthor of Sticky Faith ​and Deep Justice Journeys. A native Kentucky youth pastor, Brad now lives in Southern California with his wife Missy and their three children.

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