It seems an anomaly to think of Greek students coming together for the express purpose of worshipping God. One thing holds true for Greeks – they love to be in community, and InterVarsity provides them a place to develop friendships and learn about Jesus. Our fastest growing ministry is to Greek Students. From February 1-3, InterVarsity held its annual Greek Conference in Indianapolis, and over 500 Fraternity and Sorority students attended.
The weekend was filled with worship, speakers, and different seminar tracks for students who already know Christ and for those still learning about who he is. But in the plenary sessions, students heard stories of transformation about their Greek brothers and sisters, powerful stories about the way God is working in the Greek system from the inside out.
One student, Maggie McGuinness, an Alpha Delta Pi from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign gave her testimony during Saturday’s plenary session. She walked confidently onto the stage, let out an appreciative and bubbly laugh, and launched into her story of transformation, speaking to the crowd as if they were familiar old friends.
The familiarity with which Maggie spoke illustrates the bond between Greek students, and that relationship reflects the bond between Christians as well. As Greeks, just as with Christians, they are linked by a common experience, and that gives them camaraderie among people whom they’ve never met, a feeling of belonging to something that transcends just themselves.
Their shared experience as Fraternity and Sorority students also gives them the freedom to express their stories openly and without fear of judgment. Their struggles and temptations are similar, and the sense of belonging they share allows them to be vulnerable with each other. Greek InterVarsity gives students the chance to share both their sin and redemption with others who know just where they’re coming from.
With candor and enthusiasm, Maggie spoke about her first years of college; she joined a sorority, quickly got caught up in the party scene, and began to live a double life – one with her friends from Bible Study and a very different one with her Sorority sisters.
It was the genuine and joyful faith of a believer within the Greek system that inspired her to pursue a more authentic relationship with Jesus. And it was her involvement in Greek InterVarsity that taught her to integrate her life as a Christian and her life as an Alpha Delta Pi.
Staff and students ministering to Greeks provide community and biblical teaching to a unique culture. They offer them a place where a connection can be made between the bond between Greek brothers and sisters and brothers and sisters in Christ. As Maggie explained, “I don’t think God was calling me to be only a Greek or to be only a Christian, he was calling me to lead one life as a Christian in a sorority and to follow him and love him. I don’t think I could be here if it wasn’t for the . . . encouragement of the older women in Greek InterVarsity who showed me how to live my life with integrity and to be proud of my relationship with Jesus and to live happily for him, and not for a second feel that I couldn’t share that with my sorority sisters.”
Staff and students who leader in Greek InterVarsity set an example for their fellowships of an integrated life – one in which the students learn that they don’t have to give up being Greek to live whole-heartedly as followers of Jesus.