The leftover Halloween candy definitely doesn’t hurt attendance, but it’s not why they show up.

And a free Wednesday night meal for college students might have been what initially drew them back in September, but it’s not what makes them crowd 9 people around an 8-person table. The college students here on Wednesday nights come from many different places and walks of life, but they are here because they have found community.

Adam Horton (CBF Collegiate Ministry) and our own Patrick Cardwell have invested themselves in fostering this young community, being present for meals and outside activities by listening, leading, and laughing together. And so each week, 7-10 students along with these two committed leaders relax on the sofa in my office, dig into the candy barrel, and dig into the book they are all studying together.

I wonder whether they even realized at first, as they laughed around the Wednesday night table and as they dug into that candy and into their book, that they were also digging a solid foundation for what college students crave while they are at school. A community where they are loved and important. A place that feels like home.