Can I Really Follow Christ and Be Active in a Fraternity or Sorority?
Are you currently in a fraternity or sorority and have considered dropping out because you think your chapter goes against your Christian values? Or perhaps are you are thinking of going inactive because it would be much easier to minister to another group on campus or out in the community? PLEASE read through the next few pages and prayerfully consider what you read.
Around a year ago, a chaplain at one of the biggest fraternities on his campus confided in me what had happened at his chapter meeting the night before. He had written a devotion and had planned on sharing it at the meeting, but just as the meeting was about to start, things went south quickly. The chapter advisor stood up and said, “I want to hear some stories of your sexual exploits from this past weekend at formal!” With that challenge, guy after guy began to stand up and tell stories that remind me of the passage in Ephesians 5 where Paul is confronting sexual immorality and says in verse 12, “For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret.” He obviously did not get to share his devo for that week. Before he could say another word I said, “And that is exactly why you need to be active in your chapter!” I went on to remind him that he was a part of one of the biggest and best fraternities on his campus. I encouraged him from Galatians 6:9 that says, “Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” I challenged him to not give up on his chapter but to continue to go to every chapter meeting with the goal of giving a devotional each week. I also reminded him that I chose to live in my fraternity house as a senior just to be around the guys so that I could minister to as many as possible. By the end of my senior year, I had seen at least three guys trust Christ with me that year and two of them went on to serve the Lord in full time ministry.
The three guys to the left trusted Christ my senior year, and two of them went into full time ministry. Hunter (second from left) ended up being the Cru director back at the University of Arkansas and ministered in our fraternity for seven years.
If the story I just shared describes you and the way the majority of the guys in your chapter live and act, I want to encourage you with a few thoughts:
First of all, if you are a follower of Christ, it is imperative that you get involved in a local church. I would also encourage you to get involved with a local campus ministry as well. You need the Christian fellowship. The Christian life was never meant to be lived by lone ranger Christians. If you are going to be living in a dark and often hostile environment then I would be involved in both.
Also seek out a few people either in your church or campus ministry whom you can confide in and be honest with. These need to be people that can keep you accountable. I was lucky to have a pledge brother that was also pursuing the Lord, and he was a huge encouragement to me as we both ministered along side each other in the house.
Be the most active person in your chapter! Eat your meals at the house (or wherever the actives eat together the most). Spend time around the chapter, and attend every chapter meeting. You probably have heard the expression, “They don’t care how much you know until they know that you care.” Some of my pledge brothers used to call me “Active Ike,” and I didn’t mind; I even considered it a compliment because that was my goal: to be with them a lot! I played intramurals with the guys and took younger guys hunting. I made my fraternity house my sole place of ministry. Every once in a while I would serve as the substitute house boy at the Kappa Kappa Gamma house because they had better food and their girls were much better looking than my fellow Sigma Chi’s, but I still felt I needed to eat the majority of my meals with my brothers in my chapter.
I went to every party we had, but I chose not to drink alcohol at the house even when I was 21. That’s really up to you, but I just didn’t want to do anything that may cause someone else to stumble. If an active saw me at the party with a beer, he wouldn’t know if it was my first or fifth. This topic is hotly debated amongst Christians, but the bottom line is this: be careful and strive to live a life above reproach at the house.
Actively pray for laborers. Pray that the Lord of the Harvest would awaken men or women in the house to the Gospel and pray that they would trust Christ and follow Him. In John 4:35, Jesus says, “Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.” I believe there are men or women living around you right now in whom the Lord is preparing their hearts to receive them. All you need to do is look around you and trust Him for opportunities. Years ago a man named Henry Blackaby wrote a bible study book entitled Experiencing God. One of his main points was that God IS working around you, all you need to do is look around you and join with Him in what He is doing.
Finally, if you are still struggling with whether Jesus would want you to be around so many “sinners”, then please Google my article on line entitled, “Would Jesus Have Joined a Fraternity?” and read it. He might not have actually joined a group, but he would have spent his time around the lost ministering to them.