Students offer discipleship groups on campus
6 months ago Triangle 0
Written by: MacKenzie Branch, Staff Writer
Current Bryan students serve fellow classmates by leading small groups focusing on discipleship. But why do they choose to take on this additional project, with biblically driven classes and chapels already a part of Bryan’s community?
“The college journey is so influential to who we are and grow up to be, but discipleship is often put on pause,” said Emily Terszakowec, Graduate Assistant of Discipleship and Christian Formation, as she reflected on her own undergraduate experience. However, involvement with a discipleship group provided a support system, and she wants to see current students develop similar relationships early on.
Students who are recommended to the position either by resident directors or Terzsakowec herself lead the discipleship groups. Qualities the department looks for in student leaders include a demonstrated commitment to discipleship, consistency and reliability.
Discipleship is not only about doing Bible studies, but about intentional relationships and ministry, with a foundation in Scripture. Though the groups this semester vary in approach, they share these key aspects. Groups usually meet according to the needs of the members, making it easy for students to work around their schedules. Terzsakowec encourages students interested in connecting with a group to reach out to the student leaders directly.
Nicole Baker, junior, leads Unity. She states, “We want to be unified in our different strengths in Christ.” They will be looking at passages in Scripture focused on different parts of the church body and how all are important and have purpose.
Rachel Thimell, senior, leads Living in Truth, Living in Christ . Her vision is to bring a community of women together to love and support each other. “I would like our group to focus together on living in truth,” Thimell says. “Truth is both God’s Word and the person of Christ–learning to see Him, ourselves, and life through the light of Who He is and His Word to us, as opposed to the world’s or our own way of seeing these things.”
Additional women’s groups include: Disciplines of a Godly Woman, led by Emma Garland, Sermon on the Mount, led by Chava Green, God as Fath: Breaking through Fear, led by Victoria Suich, Serving Others, led by Michaela Thomas, Rejection, led by Abby Webb and That the World May Know/Blessing Gang, led by Emily Webber.
Caleb Morgan, sophomore, leads Prayer. They will meet each week (tentatively on Thursday evenings) and spend time sharing and praying for one another, Bryan, Dayton and the world.
Walker Frizzell, sophomore, leads Sermon on the Mount. This semester the group is looking at the effectual call of Jesus and what it requires of us as believers. The Sermon on the Mount gives a picture of the Christian life unlike any other passage in Scripture: its demands, its eternity-focused, this-worldliness and its everlasting reward. “I hope that you will join me on this journey to understand and to practice the Lord’s will for each of our lives as we grow in fellowship with one another and with our Heavenly Father,” Frizzell said.
Luke Langley, junior, leads Spiritual Disciplines. Langley said their mission is, “To live for a more serious and passionate love of Jesus Christ, and to practice disciplines that help us become better worshipers of Him in the way that we live.”
Though student discipleship groups existed independently in the past, they became an official division of the Office of Student Life last year. Jeff Eenigenburg, former head of Campus Worship, organized the program with Terzsakowec’s assistance. Dr. Scott Jones, Assistant Dean of Discipleship and Christian Formation, and Terzsakowec now oversee its operation.
MacKenzie is a junior studying liberal arts. She works part time as a nurse, and enjoys hanging upside down from ropes over rivers and doing homework in a hammock on her tiny back porch. Working as an editor and operating farm retreat ministry are her long-term goals. Contact her at email@example.com.