From Faithful College Student to Mill Village Farms

Check out what can happen when two churches, a business, community members, and a faithful young man partner together.


I met Dan Weidenbenner when he was a student at Furman University and I was on staff at Grace Church. At that point, we had somewhere between 100-200 college students attending our church.

Knowing this was a great opportunity to disciple the next generation, we worked to get these students more connected to the church through service, community, and discipleship. But out of all the students who attended worship services, maybe 10-15% of them wanted to be more involved than simply attending.

At that point, we had a number of options for how we could move forward:

  • become frustrated with this group of young men and women, and publicly chastise them
  • spend tons of resources to persuade them to get more involved
  • write them all off and focus on other demographics

However, we decided against all of these choices. We realized that there was a benefit for these students to attend worship services, even if they did nothing else. Perhaps we would help them grow spiritually, and it would bear fruit later on in their lives. And we continued to provide opportunities (and encouragements) for those who wanted to serve, be in community groups, etc.

Dan was one of these college students who was eager to learn and serve. He and I got to know each other when he started serving in Children’s Ministry (how many young single guys do that?). We met for breakfast a couple of times per month, and began a process of discipleship.

The thing about Dan is that he is faithful. No matter what situation he has been in (college student, church intern, community member), he has worked to make the most of the opportunities that God has put before him. And when I met with him a couple of weeks ago, he was excited and amazed about the doors that the Lord has been opening up for him.

If you are a college student or young adult, don’t worry so much about what you need to do for Jesus. The first thing to think about is, “How does Jesus want me to be faithful to Him right now?”

And if you are part of a church that has college students, you do not need to worry about how to get all of them deeply connected. It’s not going to happen. Present all of them with opportunities, but spend more time and resources on the smaller number of young adults who are proving themselves to be faithful.

Then stand back and be amazed about what God will do.

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