When I first went to Bible College, I was very excited!  Back then Hyles-Anderson was in its heyday – I heard an administrator say my freshman class was the largest freshman class so far – 900!

When I returned my second year, I noticed a few faces did NOT return that were there the year before.

As time went along, I would “hear” of someone who left college.  Since it was a large college, it took a bit longer for word to spread that a student had left, and the administration was very good about keeping negative news quiet because they knew how important it was to keep an upbeat positive spirit among the college family.

So far in life, I have had people I love and care about, leave college, leave the church, or just decide to go a different direction with their lives altogether.

When you serve in a church or school someday, you will also experience that good, tithing church members, faithful – will just up and leave with no explanation. This is extremely hard on a pastor.

College students leave for various reasons – sickness, finances, expulsion, family problems at home and the list goes on.

If you want to be a life-changer, then you WILL be hurt along the way, but on the flipside, there are great rewards.

Through the years, my leaders have taught me both my word and example a process of thinking when a brother or sister leaves.

1) Your first response, BEFORE TALKING TO ANYONE ELSE, should be to pray for that person.  Talk to God, not others about him or her.  “God, I heard so and so left.  Please keep them safe and in your loving care and please give them the help they need.”

2) Your second response should be, “I don’t know all the facts,” and I refuse to commiserate with my friends why I think the person left. “I don’t know all the facts and I don’t NEED to know all the facts.”

3) Refuse to listen to gossip about that person.  that person is someone’s son or daughter, a pastor’s dream teen who went to Bible college, someone’s sibling, that person is a child of God – He or she is YOUR brother or sister so don’t weaken the body of Christ by stooping to talk about him or her with your friends.
If you refuse to gossip and that person comes back one day, you will not need to feel guilty that you gossiped about him or her.
I mentioned that in a larger college, it took a while for negative news to get around.  I have noticed that here, in a smaller college, everyone pretty much knows the campus gossip of the day by bedtime.  So, I say again, Refuse to listen to gossip about that person AND refuse give your input.  JUST STOP TALKING!

à Imagine how lives would turn out if we prayed for people as much as we gossip about them.


4)  Newsflash!  Hey, girls, did you know that it’s not God’s will for everyone to attend Bible College.  Some may come and after a while realize this is not for them-they are miserable.  If they leave college having their pastor’s and parents blessing, then leave it be.  Move on!


5) As leaders, when a student leaves, we want to make it as easy as possible for the person to return if he or she someday wants to return. Not everyone is able to return, but MOST are eligible to. So, when a young person leaves for whatever reason, I try to do my best to make her feel loved as she is walking out the door.  Somewhere down the road, she may want to return.  She will remember how we treated her on the way out. 


6)  Sometimes we can take it very personal when friends leave because we felt very close to them.  There is a young lady in here who has a close friend, who was instrumental in her getting saved and living for the Lord – now, THAT friend’s life has taken a completely different turn towards the world.  When people in our lives change or leave, we can get upset with God and be tempted to leave ourselves.  This temptation has happened to me and I imagine it has happened to you.  We must remember that the decision we made to serve God with our lives was, in fact, a decision we made WITH GOD.  That decision to serve God was not pending upon what other people would do with THEIR lives.  So I challenge you to determine to not allow the decisions of others to cause you to change your decision with God.


7)  Determine that if you run into a former college student or church member, in a store or somewhere, that you will be kind and cordial.  There is nothing more disgusting and more immature than a judgmental Christian.  If you want them to come back, show love.


Now, let’s put all this into perspective from God’s Word –

Galatians 6:1 – “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, (error, transgression, fall, sin) ye which are spiritual,(non-carnal) restore (mend; put back together) such an one in the spirit of meekness; (gentleness) considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
You say, but they are gone – how can I restore them?


My answer – Maybe we cannot restore those today, but we can have moments every day of restoring those who are stillhere –


Galatians 6:2 – “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”

See, ladies, we really do not know who is next.  We look like we’ve got it altogether  when really, there are people at any given moment who are about to throw in the towel. In this room we have a bunch of fighters!  You are fighting discouragement.  You are fighting sickness.  You are fighting financial difficulty!  You’ve been fighting all year long and guess what – YOU ARE STRONGER!

May I remind all of us that we need each other!?   How can we bear one another’s burdens for the next 7 weeks so we can all make it the end?

Though you are fighters, no one likes to fight alone – Be sure you are taking opportunities every day to encourage.
Pray for each other.
Ask God each morning to prompt you that day when a sister needs help or encouragement.
Be interested in each other –
“How are you doing today?”
“I really admire you pushing forward in spite of sickness!”
“I enjoyed going soul-winning with you. You inspired me!”

Everyone in here needs encouragement.

Galatians 6:2
 – “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”

Girls, you lead very busy lives, but how about kicking it up a notch and realizing that in your busy-ness, if you are notpraying for each other, if you are not encouraging each other, if you are not showing interest in others, then you are not bearing one another’s burdens.


Zana Reichin

Secretary to the Vice President of Commonwealth Baptist College