You learn a lot about yourself when your circumstances change. I’ve been in transition of late, and even though it was planned and typical in many ways, change often brings disorientation and tumult. And as I’ve lived this personally, I’ve also been connected to other overlapping stories filled with anxiety about the future in the places I work and across the country. Like storms that drive long-lost debris to the shore, these uncertain times have brought to the surface of my soul things that might have stayed otherwise hidden.
Have you ever wished you could turn off the noise of life? I did, so I took a break recently, or a “stay away” as a friend of mine called it. This year has been incredibly trying, confusing, frustrating and full of heartache. I just had to get away to process, gain clarity, and get insight from outsiders I trusted.
Have you ever stopped and wondered what actually happens when we engage in musical worship as a community? Musical worship can and should be more than just a nice sing-along, more than just a shot of emotional inspiration and more than just a prelude to the sermon. For the committed follower of Jesus, musical worship is an opportunity for us to grow deeper as disciples of Jesus Christ. Think of musical worship using the Discipleship Cycle as a framework.
Remember Mad Libs? Here’s one for you: Millennials are so _____, and technology is making relationships so _____. Fill in the blanks, and you’ve got your lead for an Internet think piece. But in all seriousness, if you’re a college student today, you’re probably tired of seeing online articles with headlines like these and you’re trying to make your way in our technology-connected world in much the same way students always have. Sure, there are qualities of your generation that are distinct, but the differences are smaller than what so many cringe-worthy online articles would have us believe. If instead we focus on the similarities with generations past, we have an opportunity to learn from decades of InterVarsity ministry.
Over the last decade, InterVarsity has seen a dramatic increase in the number of students who make decisions for Jesus each year. But have you ever asked, “How are we helping new believers become life-long disciples of Jesus?” That question has been nagging me for more than ten years. So, I was overjoyed when a joint effort between the Discipleship and Evangelism Departments developed the GROW Bible study just this purpose.
Have you ever read the whole Bible? Do you remember the first time you tried to read the entire Bible? I remember “thee” and “thou” and names of people and places I couldn’t pronounce. The beginning was OK, but then there were a lot of rules. (“Why, hello Leviticus!”)
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that faculty are a key part of our mission field. We might wonder what impact, if any, a group of undergraduate students could have on the faith development of a faculty member, particularly one who may be hostile to the Christian faith.
I was sitting at my computer checking off tasks when my phone started buzzing. Looking at the number, I knew it was a conflict, and I knew the conversation would be long and messy. My chest constricted. My mouth went dry. I rejected the call.
There was that question again, only this time it was from a fraternity student who had rededicated his life the week before at our fall conference. After his first five minutes ever in a posture of listening prayer, he turned wide-eyed and exclaimed: “I grew up in the church, why has no one ever taught me how to listen to God before?”
The blog is an avenue for staff and student leaders to hear from the visionary leaders of Collegiate Ministries about theological formation, discipleship, chapter planting, chapter growth, and other key ministry themes for campus work.