I remember an occasion in 1982 when I felt led by the Holy Spirit to change the atmosphere and general plan of Tuesday Night Live – our weekly large group Chi Alpha meeting. We gathered that semester in a large room at New Life Assembly of God, at the south end of the Ohio University campus. I had been reading through the Book of Exodus and was learning about why and how Moses was commanded by God to build the Tabernacle.
I believed the Spirit inspired me to set up a mini-tabernacle. When students arrived that night, I asked them to take off their shoes as they entered the “holy” presence of God. They were then asked to wash their hands in a large tub of water. Then they were instructed to sit on the floor between two rows of folding tables spread out 10 feet wide and 30 feet long. At the north end of the tables was one square table with 3 lit candles that I explained symbolized the holy, majestic, Triune God of Scripture. The last instruction I gave was we would sit in silence and reflect on the character of God for 30 minutes while we listened to “Come to the Quiet” by musician John Michael Talbot. I sensed the Lord wanted us to wait on Him and listen for His leadership.
It was awkward for some, but as we approached the thirty-minute mark, one student said, “I came here not knowing what to expect, but I need to know God!” Another said they felt hungry for more of God and wanted to be baptized in the Holy Spirit – and he was!” I sat there amazed at the work of God in our midst as we enjoyed worshipping the God who showed Himself to us – without me having said a word after the initial instructions I had given.
Chi Alpha Campus Ministries believes the best way to impact a campus is to establish a “community” of students on campus who love God, one another, and are committed to sharing Christ with students and faculty. Following the pattern in the Book of Acts, we strive to build communities of worship, fellowship, discipleship, witness and prayer. By “community” we mean a “gathered people on campus” is more visible and effective than a few isolated individuals.
By “community of worship” we mean that as a gathered people of God on campus, we must establish ministry to God as the highest call of Christians. We practice the following principles:
First, we recognize we were created by and are now reconciled to God to bring glory to Him (Isaiah 43:7; Ephesians 1:11-12); Second, As Christ’s family gathered, we become the dwelling place of God for the very purposes of ministry to Him as His priests, and for proclamation of His greatness to the world (Ephesians 1:10-22; 1 Peter 2:4-10); Third, we believe the presence of God is made more real among people when believers worship (Psalm 22:3).
Staff and students in Chi Alpha express ministry to God by: First, directing adoration to His person in giving thanks for His acts of loving kindness toward us (Psalm 100; 150); Second, learning to sit at His feet like Mary and respond to Him (Luke 10:39; John 10:4-5); Third, allowing the spiritual gifts listed in 1 Corinthians 12-14 to flow through us to the Lord; Fourth, learning to worship Him with our actions (1 Corinthians 10:31; Hebrews 13:15-16).
I believe our growth in Christ and our service for Him matures when nurtured in an atmosphere of ministry to the Lord. I have taught students the first three and called them to practice the last four principles mentioned above. I have seen the fruit of all seven Biblical ideas listed above. That Tuesday in 1982 taught me that God knows how to get His kingdom work done if we will listen, trust, and obey His voice. Grow devotionally. It starts with sitting at His feet in adoration.
Love is a verb,
©2015 by Mike Olejarz