by Lori Richey, former youth director

Once young people finish high school and begin their college years, parents often have to work hard to find moments for great conversations. Whether your student is attending school across the country or still lives at home, their busy lives aren’t always conducive for lengthy talks.  This makes it all the more important to take advantage of those precious opportunities for a heart-to-heart about faith.

Here are some questions that can get things going:

  1. “When I first started college, I wanted to get connected to a local church but was nervous about going by myself. Have any of your friends found one that they like?” (Asking if they’ve been going to church could easily put them on the defensive and shut down communication.)
  2. “Going to college can be a stressful time – have there been moments where you felt far from God or weren’t sure where to turn?”
  3. “When I was on campus, there were always tables in the public spaces with people talking about ways to get involved. Have you visited any of those or gotten connected to any groups that way?”
  4. “We just started a new study in my adult Sunday school and it made me wonder what you’re talking about in your campus ministry these days.”
  5. “Did I ever tell you about my time in campus ministry? I remember ……”
  6. “One of my best memories from college was an international mission trip with my campus ministry… could you see yourself doing something like that?”
  7. “College students face many pressures to make choices that aren’t always healthy or wise – have you had to make any decisions that you felt your faith played a part in?”

Remember that some conversations will sputter and others will bear fruit… but the important thing is that an effort is made.  They may not tell you, but young people long to know that their parents truly care about their lives, and asking good questions tells them just that.  Watch for an opportunity, and give it a try!


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