MISHAWAKA -- Starting Friday, Sept. 20, Bethel University will begin holding student worship nights.
The idea was put into motion by senior Stephen White. He is one of the lead vocalists for two chapel bands, is a campus guide and works in the admissions office.
White said that God had given him an idea to put something different on campus. Initially, there were two separate ideas: the first being a gospel choir. However, there were worries that the group wouldn’t have the attention it needed to get the ball rolling.
Second, came the idea of student-led worship nights. White had heard from different people on campus that something should be done, and he thought that now would be a great time to implement this idea.
This new Friday night plan will start off every other Friday with times and locations to be determined.
Worship Nights will be a time for students to refocus, to spend time in worship, to hear different sounds and songs, and to sing in different languages, all on a common ground with distinctiveness.
“It’s something that I want to give students, who want to sing and want to play, an opportunity,” White said. “This is to give a chance to express their gifts in whatever way that may be.”
Throughout these worship nights, White plans on exploring different genres and not just contemporary sounds. He wants to explore different places that wouldn’t be done in a normal chapel service. It’s a time for people to be free to proclaim and to minister in any way, shape, or form, he said.
He is most excited about what God is going to do through it.
“[These nights are] seeds being planted and it’s something to grow bigger than anything,” White said.
Even through the planning process, there are still a lot of prayers being made behind the scenes. White prays and is hoping that there will be a positive response. He hopes people will have a desire to refocus and let go.
The story in the book of Acts, where Paul and Silas are both imprisoned, has inspired White throughout this process. Both Paul and Silas worshiped late at night, which is what students will be able to do, and from this came freedom and breakthrough. White said that is the hope of these nights.
“We want to give God the ability to break chains and to free people.”
Worship Nights are meant to be less of a commitment and more of a relief. It is out of freewill, and chapel credits will not be given out.
For more information, email Stephen White at Stephen.White@BethelUniversty.edu.