College Students, Piper and the Local Church
I’ve been reading The Pastor as Scholar & The Scholar as Pastor with John Piper and D.A. Carson. Piper leads off, giving a synopsis of his childhood, high school days, college days and so on to help the reader understand how he has come to the place of being a pastor but also a scholar.
Along the way he offers nuggets of wisdom as a result of his own experience. One is particularly helpful for university students about the local church. He writes on page 36-37:
When I went to Fuller, I was detached from the local church. In college I had not seriously engaged with one local church. That was foolish and immature. It continued for a few months in seminary, and then I got married and needed to grow up. Noel and I went to Lake Avenue Congregational Church where Ray Ortlund Sr. was the senior pastor. There we fell in love with the church-the local church of real people with real relationships. By the time we were done, Noel was caring for the mentally disabled, and I had taught seventh grade, ninth grade, and young marrieds. We were in five different small groups. Eventually, four years after I left to go to graduate school, I was ordained at that church. Never again did I play fast and loose with my attachment to the local church. To cut yourself off from the local church with a sense of self-sufficiency is, in the long run, suicidal.
These are strong words about himself and strong words for the edification for people of all ages right now. You can’t learn to love the local church unless you give yourself to Christ and His people in a local church. Most people today are just casually dating local churches and have no intention to biblically settle down and commit for better or worse – and sometimes its both. But that shouldn’t deter us, after all, Christ gave himself for you and I that we might show the love of Christ as local churches. May we head the wisdom of Piper and follow the example of Christ, and biblically give our lives to others.