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Student Revival tells us #wearenot

Koinonia Council

Near the end of the year, as the stress of assignments and work pile up, students often forego chapel for homework and sleep.

That was not the case for student revival. Many didn’t want to miss the chance to hear from fellow students.

Junior nursing major Anna Griffith enjoyed hearing sermons taught from the perspective of her peers. She thought the speakers did well relating with students “because they are students.”

“I liked the genuine feel the services had because they were student led,” Griffith said. “It felt more real than the typical Monday, Wednesday, Friday preplanned, pre-scripted chapel.”

Students from all corners of campus were able to see the week’s benefits.

“Spring revival is always a refreshing time for me spiritually,” said Walter Blanks, sophomore journalism and media production major. “ It is a great way to reflect and break away from the mundane schedules and routine.”

The week consisted of five services with student speakers and a Friday night worship service.

The speakers were junior Caleb Gibbs, freshman Ashton Dupler, junior Clayton Christopher, junior Amanda Sparks and senior Rebecca Chajkowski, all of whom are ministry majors.

Each one spoke on a topic connected to the theme of the week: #wearenot.

“We used the hashtag ‘wearenot’ to emphasize that we, as a community, are not hopeless,” Chajkowski said. “We’re not alone. We are not that big of a deal, and we’re not lost.”

Preparation for spring revival starts in the fall with an email to ministry majors offering them “an opportunity to speak and do the things they learn in class,” Christopher said.

Those interested apply and go through an interview process mid-fall semester. The Koinonia Council then decides who will speak. Those selected are notified at the beginning of the spring semester.

The preparation process can vary from speaker to speaker, but all must meet with a current pastor to “go through the idea, work through how to choose the right words and make it a decent sermon,” Christopher said.

The speakers also meet with God countless times as they prepare.

“[Throughout my process] there was a lot of prayer and a lot of reflective time on what the needs around the campus are and how the community can come together and support each other,” Chajkowski said.

Both Christopher and Chajkowski felt confident after the services they led.

“I thought it went pretty well,” Christopher said.

He spoke on anger, explaining the Bible’s perspective on the topic and how God instructs Christians to handle it.

“I had a few people come up to me a day or two later, even people I didn’t know, and say, ‘Hey, your message really spoke to me,’” Christopher said. “It was more than just how I did; it actually challenged people.”

While many students had great responses to each speaker, Christopher’s message stood out in the minds of many.

“I thought the ones I went to were really good,” junior sports management major Justin Deckling said. “It was nice to see my friends speak about subjects that are relatable, especially Clayton's.”

Photo by Nick Shaner

The Friday night worship experience was another prominent portion that impacted students.

“People were responding [during the service] by writing out prayers,” Chajkowski said. “We had times of confession, times of anointing and times of general prayer. I feel like it went very well.”

“As the end of the semester is approaching, I know most of us are drained and exhausted, and a night of worship with no agenda was exactly what I needed to refuel,” said Tova Ray, junior business technology and management major. “It was evident how much thought, effort and prayer went into the week, and I thought it went over extremely well!”

She was not the only one praising the service.

“I thought the worship one was just what I needed to relax with Jesus and not be in a hurry to my next class or meeting,” Griffith said.

Blanks summed up the theme of the week and the success of the services.

“I was reminded that I cannot save myself, and we are not able to live this life properly without Christ,” he said. “If we live this life by our own strength, then we will fail. Sometimes it's difficult to be immersed in God’s presence, because we are so busy with our lives, but revival was a great way for us to reset and focus back on God!”

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