Chapel Speaker Says Doubt Helps Grow Community

September 14, 2012 / by / 2 Comments

By Cooper Nelson
GCU News Bureau

Jeremy Jernigan has a different sense of community than some people might expect. He believes a sense of doubt can actually strengthen communities.

Jernigan, the Valley pastor leading Monday’s chapel service at 10:45 a.m. at GCU Arena, believes the biblical definition of unity is when people continue to work together and support each other in spite of disagreements. Jernigan’s message plays into GCU’s theme of “Community: One Spirit, One Purpose,” by presenting how communities can overcome obstacles like doubt.

Jeremy Jernigan of Central Christian Church of the East Valley returns to GCU to lead Monday's chapel service at GCU Arena.

As executive pastor of creative arts at Central Christian Church of the East Valley, the 29-year-old Jernigan is familiar with helping his community grow more comfortable with doubt. He defines unity as “intentional harmony,” but believes it is more difficult to develop as it might seem in a community the size of GCU.

“We think that all we have to do is agree with one another, but that never works,” said Jernigan, who spoke at chapel last September about what God’s Kingdom can do in the hearts of believers.

Doubt often occurs in a community when unity is lost or misplaced. Jernigan used the analogy of instruments playing together in harmony.

“Harmony doesn’t mean that you’re all playing the same notes,” Jernigan said. “It means that you are playing a group of notes that all go together.

“Community (for the church) is when the whole is better than the sum of the parts,” he said. “When there is co-dependency, vulnerability, and trust, that all culminates to where the overall whole of the church community is better, stronger, and fuller.”

Chapel at GCU Arena  
Chapel is held on Monday beginning at 10:45 a.m. at GCU Arena. Here are the upcoming speakers:
Monday: Jeremy Jernigan
Sept. 24: Dr. Steve Gerali
Oct. 1: Derek Hines
Oct. 8: Josh Riebock

As Christians, Jernigan said, we tend to look at other members of the church and ask everybody to look the same, act the same, or believe the same — something the church cannot do if it wants to preserve a sense of community without doubt.

Jernigan applies a similar sense of community at CCCEV, which he described as four communities in four cities that together make up one large community. CCCEV has church campuses in Mesa, Gilbert, Queen Creek, and Glendale. GCU is similar –in that the campus expands from the main ground campus in Phoenix to tens of thousands of online students, alumni, and staff in satellite GCU offices.

Dean of Students Pastor Tim Griffin said the fact that Jernigan is familiar with a large church community, and sees the experience he brings as something that can benefit GCU as it grows.

Bringing in pastors and other speakers that have experience with large communities to speak at chapel is something that GCU plans to continue to do.

“As we grow, larger churches can speak on issues they have addressed in their community that GCU will eventually have to go through,” Griffin said.

Griffin said GCU is pleased to have Jernigan back to share his message with students.

Contact Cooper Nelson at 639.7511 or

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2 Responses
  1. Paul Danuser

    I am a member at Central, and I see and hear what Jeremy does on a weekly basis. He is a terrific speaker and teacher, and Grand Canyon will be blessed with his message. Despite being a Yankee fan, he is a great guy and will deliver a fantastic message Monday morning. Hope you all can make it!!

    Sep.14.2012 at 12:00 pm
  2. Joanne Butler

    I have to agree with Paul about Jeremy being a blessing to Central, and everywhere he speaks. I also agree that Jeremy, like all of us, has flaws, and his is being a devout Yankee fan! We will have to work on him about that, but he’s young, and we have time to turn him around! Joanne Butler

    Oct.14.2012 at 3:02 pm
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