Words of Wisdom for Those Graduating High School and Beyond

God has a plan. He will pursue you. He will use you mightily—just trust him.

Recently, McLean Presbyterian church in Virginia tweeted a question out to several evangelical leaders in preparation for an upcoming weekend youth retreat. Their request: words of wisdom to share with seniors in high school as they prepare to navigate the challenges of life and faith in the years to come.

It’s an important question. We’ve all heard start about student dropouts. Students who found themselves eager to attend youth group and spend time in scripture during high school head to college and later find these disciplines hard to maintain. They’re isolated from their family—in many cases, the bedrock of their faith—and often attend secular universities where Christian communities are far and few between.

McClean tagged several of us, and my answer is at the end, but let’s take a look at some of the advice offered in response to McClean Presbyterian’s bold question:

Tim Keller

Tim Keller is the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan. Now he leads Redeemer City to City, which has since launched 250 churches in 48 cities. His books—among them, The Reason for God, The Prodigal God, and Generous Justice—have been enjoyed by millions.

In his response, Keller advised students to “be resilient.” He pointed out that college is a place of discovery—a time to deal with life’s biggest questions of “identity, purpose and choice.” Going to college means leaving behind the familiar comforts of family, friends, church that youngsters always used for support during times of trial and weakness. According to Keller, the experience requires students to open up the floodgates and allow their minds to venture into dangerous territory ...

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