Mandatory Chapel Withdrawal

Chapel can feel like an obligation, but is that all it is?

By: Andrew Lovgren

Going to chapel at college is a waste of time.

At least that’s the way it seemed most days. That time in the morning could have been used for a nap between classes, a quick round of video games or, most likely, an opportunity to finish homework for that day’s classes.

Being required to go hear various groups tell their inspirational stories or what some seminary representative had to say seemed like a waste of time. It wasn’t what I was at college for.

Looking back, it turns out it was.

That’s a broad statement, and it’s not meant to cover every chapel service. In fact, many services didn’t have a direct purpose or message for me.

However, they did have a message for someone, perhaps even a majority of the students who piled in to fulfill their obligation. And maybe, more than likely, the seven semesters that I spent getting just one over the minimum (just to be safe) were filled with chapels that would have played a major role in my college experience.

Not only that, but I missed out on some great relationships because of missing chapel. Since every student was required to go to so many credits, there was a good chance I would meet dorm or class mates, but I also would have met new people that I may not have crossed paths with otherwise.

At that point, it’s not just about going to chapel, hearing a good message, singing a song and heading back out to classes. It becomes exactly what I was at college to do, whether I realized it at the time or not: to live and grow in knowledge and in my relationships with others while trying to develop a truly Christ-focused mindset.

There were plenty of times, too many for my liking, where chapel was about going through the motions. Still, the times that I met up with friends, enjoyed great talks from professors or students or took time to sing both old and new worship songs should have been more valuable.

They are now, but I no longer have four opportunities each week to attend what was a major part of my college experience.

What is your school’s chapel policy? What do you think of chapel? Is it just like church or is it something more to you?


One thought on “Mandatory Chapel Withdrawal

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