MISHAWAKA—The Deeper Life Series happens every spring and encourages students to take time to reflect on the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives. According to Shawn Holtgren, vice president for student development, Deeper Life first began around 15 years ago and was originally linked with the World Christian Action Conference.
“The emphasis was on mission and then the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer,” Holtgren said. “And both really were launched because we had a sense that we had lost . . . the emphasis on really allowing the Holy Spirit to do an inner work in us.”
The Deeper Life Series and the World Christian Action Conference have since separated into two different annual events. This year, the speaker for the Deeper Life Series is Stephen Love, M.A., pastor of Redemption City Church in South Bend.
The series was scheduled to take place near the end of March, but Love’s plans unexpectedly changed and he could no longer come for the original dates. Instead of finding a different speaker, Holtgren was able to rearrange the chapel schedule so the Deeper Life Series would take place from March 8 through 12, a change he anticipates continuing in forthcoming years.
“I think we will probably have future Deeper Lifes following spring break,” Holtgren said. “I think it’s a really good timing for it.”
Love was excited to share with students about the person of the Holy Spirit.
“[Shawn Holtgren] gave me the title and I was like, ‘Man, I’m all in,’” Love said. “The topic is great.”
Love said the general topic of the Holy Spirit is always interesting to him because he believes many Christians know a little bit about the Spirit, but not much about what the Spirit technically does.
“I just wanted to reference God’s own words about what the Spirit is supposed to do,” Love said. “That’s how I got guided to John chapter 16.”
In addition to sharing during chapel, Love also led Vespers on Wednesday night with his wife, Mandy.
“Whenever we have the opportunity to speak together, we love it,” Love said. “She’s a very gifted speaker as well . . . they wanted a brief recap of my chapel series, and then the students just got to ask Q & A.”
Love said preparing the lessons and interacting with the students was a blessing and a time of renewal in his own life and he hopes students will learn to be in tune with the small workings of the Spirit in their lives.
“What [the Deeper Life Series] has done for me is just reaffirm the working of the Spirit in my life,” Love said. “The Spirit is not sort of like this big splash of a person of the Godhead. Lots of time with the Spirit we want this Acts 2 Spirit, we want fire to come down and buildings to shake, but the Spirit works in whispers as well.”
Holtgren said he hopes students will allow the Holy Spirit to have a personal work in their lives.
“I want students to be able to know in their own life: one, God’s Spirit lives in you; two, he’s there to be your counselor and your guide and your advocate and your convictor and all these sorts of things—he has a role in your life; and three, that changes the way you live,” Holtgren said. “I hope that our Deeper Life Series makes life in the Spirit and in the person of Jesus very, very accessible and very real in our day to day lives.”
Love concluded by encouraging students to remain steadfast after Christ.
“Keep pursuing Christ,” Love said. “I mean, ups and downs, we’ve seen that in COVID, things come and go, dreams are often crushed, but we’re not alone. The Spirit is with us and Christ is with us, keep running hard after him.”