Everyone needs a little pep talk before starting something big. Especially if you’re a student at Eternity Bible College about to start another semester (or your first one). Since some people are far more inspiring than myself, I’ll first let you watch this amazing pep talk that is really helpful for starting out a semester:
Like I said, some people are far more inspiring than I am.
While I haven’t recently learned how to ride a bike, I did recently graduate from Eternity Bible College. Looking back, I think there are several important things to keep in mind as you start a semester at EBC.
The first thing an EBC student should do to start out a semester is to remind yourself of why you’re here taking classes at Eternity. The rigor and stress of the semester might cause you to forget your reasons for being here, so give yourself a friendly reminder of why you’re doing what you’re doing. If you haven’t really thought about this, then maybe you should take some time to check your motivation for the semester. Why are you taking classes at Eternity? Is it so that you can make God’s name great, or is it so that you can make your name great? Maybe because it’s the college that Francis Chan started? There are several motivations for being at EBC that aren’t the best. But if you desire to live and die well in light of the good news of God’s story and mission in the world, then classes at EBC are right for you, regardless of your vocation.
Full-time EBC students should also be willing to lighten up their schedule for classes. Eternity Bible College is rigorous. Students read hundreds of pages of material for each class, and the workload really adds up. If you are a social butterfly, classes at EBC might be a real challenge for you, simply because the amount of work will come into conflict with your social life. It’s ok to say no to some hangouts and events. The classes at EBC are worth investing your time and energy, so make sure your schedule isn’t completely full so that you can dig deep in the classes (watch that YouTube video again if you need some more motivation here).
But despite the importance of making space for classes, try to spend some time with non-Christians during your semester. I found that being around non-Christians at my workplace during the semesters was a healthy reminder for my purpose in taking classes at EBC. Being in a “Christian bubble” can impact your ability to communicate good news to the people who need it. So interacting with non-Christians, at least to some extent, is a good way to take what you learn in class out in the real world.
This might sound contradictory, but don’t beat yourself up if you don’t feel like you’re “on mission” during your time at EBC. The nature of EBC classes really limits your time, and all that studying might feel pointless when you could be out in the world preaching the gospel and “making a difference.” If (or when) you feel like that during your semester, remember that you’re in an important season of training. While you might not be causing a revival, the classes at EBC will equip you to love God and people well. The papers and extensive reading assignments aren’t a big waste of time; they’re part of a unique opportunity in life that will help you be an effective witness for Christ in the world.
Hopefully these small tidbits are helpful in preparing yourself for another semester at Eternity Bible College. If you prepare your mind and your heart from the get-go, you too can say at the end of the semester, “I feel happy of myself!”