Chapel returns with 'Make a Difference' theme

By Cooper Nelson
GCU News Bureau

During last year’s “His Story, Your Story” Chapel series, Grand Canyon University students, faculty and staff heard from influential pastors, authors and Christian speakers about how God weaved His plan into their lives. This semester, in announcing a "Make a Difference" emphasis for Chapel, GCU’s Office of Spiritual Life has asked speakers to encourage believers to be the hands and feet of God.

Chapel officially begins at 11:15 a.m. Monday with a message from GCU President and CEO Brian Mueller on his “new vision” for GCU, which includes a focus on the theology of work and, Mueller has said, potentially could change the University’s mission statement. MercyMe co-founder Bart Millard, director of GCU's new Center for Worship Arts, will lead worshipers in prayer followed by music from one of two new Chapel bands.

A large crowd is expected, including members from churches across the Valley and a majority of the nearly 11,000 students attending classes on the main campus this year. But there will be plenty of room as Chapel moves back into the expanded GCU Arena, with a new 2,000-seat upper deck, after having been held since March in Antelope Gym and the Tell Science building.

Chapel speakers this semester include returning favorites Jon Demeter, director of the Ultimate Training Camp for the nonprofit Athletes in Action, and Jeremy Jernigan, executive pastor of creative arts at Central Christian Church.

Chapel attendees also will see some new faces, including Beth Guckenberger, executive director of Back2Back Ministries, and Senior Pastor Chris Brown of North Coast Church near San Diego, among others.

Danielle Rinnier, GCU's director of Spiritual Life, said the Chapel theme is meant to encourage the campus community to make a difference in the lives of others beyond outreach opportunities that are created by the University.

“As Christians, we often times become complacent and, at some point, we’re called to be the hands and feet of God and go out and make a difference,” Rinnier said.

“God has made a difference in our lives, and we are responsible to go out and serve people in a way that makes a difference in their lives.”

Although the style of Chapel will remain similar to last year's, beginning with announcements on the message boards and ending with prayer, there now are two Chapel bands that will take turns leading worship each week, said Jared Ulrich, GCU’s worship coordinator. The bands, with nine members each, also will lead theGathering, a student-oriented service held at 8 p.m. Tuesdays in Antelope Gym. It, too, will have a "Make a Difference" theme.

Faculty and staff wishing to have announcements posted on the message boards prior to the start of Chapel should fill out this form.

Chapel and theGathering dates and speakers:


Aug. 25 — Brian Mueller, GCU

Sept. 1 — Labor Day (University holiday), no Chapel

Sept. 8 — Tim Griffin, GCU

Sept. 15 — Chad Moore, Sun Valley Community Church

Sept. 22 — Jeremy Jernigan, Central Christian Church

Sept. 29 — Tyler Johnson, Redemption Church

Oct. 6 — Dustin Tappan, Christ’s Church of the Valley

Oct. 13 — Brian Kruckenberg, New City Church

Oct. 20 — Jon Demeter, Ultimate Training Camp

Oct. 27 — Ron Merrell, Heights Church

Nov. 3 — Warren Stewart Jr., Church of the Remnant

Nov. 10 — Terry Crist, City of Grace

Nov. 17 — Beth Guckenberger, Back2Back Ministries

Nov. 24 — Fall break, no Chapel

Dec. 1 — Chris Brown, North Coast Church

Dec. 8 — Christmas service


Aug. 26 — Danielle Rinnier, GCU

Sept. 2 — Aaron Dailey, Redemption Church

Sept. 9 — Rustin Rossello, Scottsdale Bible Church

Sept. 16 — Jacob Page, GCU

Sept. 23 — Jude McClure, Hope Church

Sept. 30 — Preston Morrison, Gateway Church

Oct. 7 — Scott Savage, North Phoenix Baptist Church

Oct. 14 — Tim Griffin, GCU

Oct. 21 — Sean Myers, Redemption Church

Oct. 28 — Ben Bost, Fellowship of Christian Athletes

Nov. 4 — Jeff Gokee, Phoenix One

Nov. 11 —  Joel Nevius, Bethany Bible Church

Nov. 18 — Luke Parker, Living Streams Church

Nov. 25 — Fall break, no service

Dec. 2 — Mike McFadden, GCU

Dec. 9 — Worship Night

Contact Cooper Nelson at 602-639-7511 or [email protected].


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Jesus taught his disciples, saying: "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the law and the prophets." (Matthew 7:12)

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