Featured photo by James Adamski | Planetshakers leading worship at Fall Revival in September.
As a chaplain, many times I hear students say they would like to grow spiritually or they sigh in exasperation that although the chapel speaker was good, they still do not know how to practically get to know God.
Augustine Mendoza, ORU director of spiritual development, shared some of these practical ways to help students grow their relationship with God. The office of Spiritual Development places a great emphasis on discipleship. Mendoza says a disciple is “someone who is learning and engaging.”
Mendoza believes a student who is spiritually alive and thriving will be “humble, teachable, but also bold and continuing to look like Jesus.” Spiritually alive students learn and engage in three ways: in scripture and spiritual disciplines, in community and in the secret place, and on campus and in the community.
Here are Mendoza’s recommendations for getting involved in spiritual life while at ORU:
If you like small groups, consider joining a mentoring group. This year, there are seven groups including Dr. Boyd’s Timothy Mentoring Group, Koinonia, a woman’s only group with Brooke Simms, Adulting101 with Mendoza and his wife Allie, Men’s Discipleship, Coping Clinic and Exploring Faith.
Make the most of chapel—lean in and listen up. Just like with fish: eat the meat and spit out the bones. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your ears to hear what He’s saying.
One of the greatest ways to grow in spirituality, in discipleship and in leadership on campus is to become an RA or chaplain. Applications open Oct. 1 and close Nov. 1. Not only will you have the opportunity to disciple others, but you will have a community of staff and students to pour into you spiritually.
Prayer Sets run from 4:30 p.m. to midnight Monday through Friday, partnering worship and prayer led by students in 90-minute increments. Worship auditions begin at the beginning of each semester, but the prayer team is always looking for members. This is a great place to learn how to minister to the heart of God and hear His voice.
Personal Time with Jesus
“Spend time with Him, not just doing things for Him,” Mendoza recommended. The more quality time you spend with someone, the closer you two become; the same is with Jesus. Practice spiritual disciplines, commit a certain amount of time every day to prayer and find friends who are committed to growing with you and holding you accountable.
While you are at ORU, visit multiple churches and expose yourself to different denominations, styles and sizes. Mendoza believes you will gain a greater appreciation of the Church as a whole and figure out where you will grow. Once you find a church, commit to it. Serve, join a small group or pick a certain section and service to attend—just be faithful to that commitment and watch the Lord grow in and through you.
We recently had Fall Revival from Sept. 18 to 19, and there are two other conferences that Student Development puts on throughout the year. The first will be Renew U. Similar to Fall Revival, this is a two-day conference with speakers and worship at the end of January. The second conference, Grow, started only last year as a one-day event focusing on practical leadership skills and spiritual development. If you are hungry for growing these areas, mark your calendar for Feb. 26 for the Grow Conference.
Missions & Outreach
Andrea Hyre, department head of Missions and Outreach at ORU, believes a student should get involved in Missions and Outreach because of how it will “challenge [one] to grow in theology and practical theology.” There are 44 mission trips spread between spring break and summer, with local outreaches all throughout the fall and spring semesters. If you would like to get involved, go to orumissions.com for more information.