“I wanted some way to find Christian community at Eastman, since having that connection is really important to me,” said Cheryl, a 2009 alumna of the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. Amid all the pressure and competition at a fine arts school, which sometimes produces tension and envy among students, InterVarsity students communicate the Gospel in ways that show God’s love.
Serving through Friendship
As the Graduate Student Coordinator for the InterVarsity chapter on campus, Cheryl implemented ideas for outreach to the campus, planning game nights and New Student Outreach activities to welcome newcomers to Eastman. She also served the fellowship by discipling younger students.
Cheryl attended the Leadership Summit with other Eastman students seeking to help their peers grow spiritually. “I found I’m most effective with one-to-one mentoring, friendships, and day-to-day conversations. I met with one student weekly as we put together the announcements for the Large Group meeting on campus. It provided us an opportunity to get to know each other, encourage, and pray for one another,” Cheryl explained.
Even after graduating and leaving Eastman, Cheryl continues to use her gifts where she can most effectively share God’s love.
Serving through Worship and Prayer
Dave was involved in InterVarsity at Eastman since his freshman year and had a strong desire to integrate his Christian faith into his campus life. “I met people in InterVarsity that I could really share my true feelings with. I wanted to begin changing the campus culture about the issues of alcohol and depression into something for the glory of God,” Dave said. As a senior he served the InterVarsity community as the Worship Leader and Coordinator.
Dave lived in the fraternity section in one of the dorms. As he prayed about moving, he decided to stay and bring the light of Christ to the fraternity members. During a GIG (Groups Investigating God, Bible studies for non-Christians) Dave prayed with the fraternity president as he accepted Jesus into his life. Dave also spoke about his concern over the fraternity’s drinking parties, and the president agreed to stop holding them.
During Dave’s senior year, attendance and participation in Dave’s Bible study was a requirement for all new pledges in the fraternity. That same year, many of the fraternity members were on the Executive Board of the student government and worked with Dave to have InterVarsity made an official organization and member of the Student Association.
Dave’s passion for sharing the light and hope of Christ with students amid the competitive campus culture at Eastman led him to begin a weekly worship and prayer gathering. Students gathered for an hour to worship God and pray for the Eastman campus community.
“The InterVarsity chapter has grown tremendously, from eight students when I was a freshman to forty when I left campus at graduation in 2008,” Dave shared. Today, prayer is central to the ministry on Eastman’s campus. Currently, Dave is serving the congregation of Spring Valley Church of God in Reading, PA, as their Worship Pastor.
Across the country, InterVarsity students serve within their campus communities, sharing God’s grace and truth as they prepare for careers of servant leadership.