‘Community: One Spirit, One Purpose’ Chapel Series Extends Into Spring
By Cooper Nelson
GCU News Bureau
This year’s Chapel speakers faced the arduous task of using their knowledge and experience to explain the challenges a large community of believers must confront to evolve.
The upcoming spring semester will mark the second installment of a Chapel speaker series focused on the theme of “Community: One Spirit, One Purpose,” with each speaker — including local pastors, a member of hip-hop artist Lecrae’s crew and other Christ followers — delivering a message of how God calls believers to deal with the issues that come with sharing space with thousands of other people.
|Spring Chapel Speaker Series|
|Jan. 7 and 14: GCU President and Chief Executive Officer Brian Mueller, followed by Dean of Students Pastor Tim Griffin.Jan. 28: Brian Anderson, senior pastor at Vineyard Church in Phoenix. Anderson is a GCU alumnus who was part of the 1980 NAIA champion baseball team.
Feb. 4: Bobby Thomas of Trae Industries, an organization that helps misguided youth by teaching them the Gospel.
Feb. 11: Mark Martin, senior pastor of Calvary Community Church.
Feb. 25: Venue Pastor Lucas Cooper of Scottsdale Bible Church.
March 4: Kent Delhousaye, a GCU adjunct professor and teaching pastor at Bethany Bible Church.
March 11: Chad Johnson, pastor and founder of CMJ Ministries and Elevate Youth Ministries.
March 25: Author/speaker Shaun Groves.
April 1: Damon Horton, author, Bible college teacher and hip-hop artist who works as leadership programmer for Lecrae.
April 8: Ron Luce of Teen Mania Ministries.
April 15: Brian Mueller.
April 22: Tim Griffin.
“This year we felt like we had to be more intentional with student growth and the issues that come with it,” said Dean of Students Pastor Tim Griffin, who recently announced the spring Chapel speaker schedule.
“My plan was to invite (speakers) that were well-received and had a relationship with GCU, and belonged to churches that students would look towards as churches to attend,” Griffin said.
Griffin also wanted to ensure that even as the University grows, Chapel services remain intimate and student-oriented. Services begin at 10:45 a.m. most Mondays at GCU Arena.
Issues introduced so far through the “Community: One Spirit, One Purpose,” series have included living in harmony with one another, bearing the burdens of others and being honest with one another.
There are three tasks that Chapel must meet, according to Griffin: The services should be a place where students, faculty and staff can worship together; sermons should create the challenge of following God’s Word; and services should provide a place outside of athletic and campus-life events that fosters a feeling of community.
Along with that, Griffin wants to ensure Chapel services resonate with students and continue to draw them to the Arena.
“We really tried this year to include more student involvement in things like having a student say the prayer or having 38 students involved in the Chapel worship band,” he said. “I think students enjoy coming together and being a part of a bigger community, and that’s something we want to keep.”
Associated Students of GCU President Nick Ely, an aspiring pastor, said he understands the burden GCU faces with avoiding the “big school” feel and losing students in the process. He has enjoyed seeing students commit to attending Chapel and hearing outside perspectives.
“It is easy to have the same message again and again, but bringing in the fresh perspective that new speakers have is really cool and what can really move students,” Ely said.
“There is nothing like getting a bunch of students together to lift up the name of Jesus.”
Contact Cooper Nelson at 639.7511 or firstname.lastname@example.org.