The mission of the student housing center is to promote the development of the individual student residents and the community of student residents in Christ. The opportunity to live together in a community of Salvationist believers while pursuing higher education at various institutions is unique and valuable. The Salvation Army is committed to helping young people invest in their futures as they pursue higher education and professional education.
What’s new at the college apartments?
As you can imagine, our residents are in full semester swing. Now that everyone has gotten into a groove, most of what I see of them is a trail of smoke as they hurry from classes to work, from work to church and from church to home for food and much needed sleep.
I meet with all of the residents on Mondays for our small group Bible study, which is led by one of the residents, after which we have ample opportunity to address issues and enjoy some well deserved down time.
On Sundays, while I myself take time to refresh and fill my soul, I am sometimes distracted with the thought that our young adults do not seem very interested in what takes place during worship. I have become concerned as I observe that most, if not all of them are either texting or looking at sites during service. In their defense, I thought, that it could be relative to what is going on at church, or maybe they are scrolling through their online Bibles, I am not sure. However, I wondered, “Are they lost in worldly thought, or are they allowing God to minister to them?” As I continued to harp on this thought, I wondered if they had ever given a thought as to what goes into putting together a Sunday worship meeting or in our case a Holiness meeting? Probably not.
Initially I thought and prayed about just confronting our young adults about their lack of enthusiasm and what seemed to me as lack of interest. However, it seems to me that it is easier to spend time correcting when re-instructing is so much more beneficial. After much internal arguing, I came up with an idea. I proposed to our young adults that they as part of their weekly requirement, put together from start to finish a Sunday service.
I presented the idea, which was initially met with some resistance, however, the group voted and chose their pastor, a music director, someone to perform a creative arts session, a time of testimony, etc. We even gave our idea a title, “Sunday on a Monday.”
This past week we launched our new idea.
I must share, that I was not expecting what I witnessed. In my skepticism that day, I went into my office and began creating an order of service, just in case there was no bulletin. But there was a bulletin, there was well practiced choreography, there was enthusiasm, team building, honest testimonies, spectacular preaching and lots and lots of joy and clapping.
The results were more than fantastic, our group of young adults pulled through and painstakingly joined forces as a community of believers to deliver a powerful message of hope.
I was floored by the experience and can proudly express that our young adults indeed have learned a most valuable lesson. These young Salvationists were exemplary in their execution. I am a proud momma, a very proud momma indeed, because they pooled together and proved that they are capable of so much more than we sometimes give them credit for. Our young adults are our leaders, worthy of our trust and belief. They are our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. I will not again have to ponder the thought of whether they understand what it takes to execute a church service.
Well done college students, here is another feather in your cap.
By Captain Teresa Della Monica, Tampa, Florida Student Residence Manager