For as long as the Threefold staff can remember, students could count on the regular rhythm of the chapel schedule: Faculty member on Tuesday, outside guest on Thursday, with a couple of communion days interspersed throughout. It seems to us that either this rhythm was imagined or has been greatly disrupted this semester.
Of the 31 regular chapels, only seven have been outside guests, and two of those were selected by Soderquist Business Center for Leadership Week. The Threefold Advocate believes that outside guests bring fresh perspectives and a more holistic worship experience. We have even highlighted some of our favorite speakers on the back page that you can go listen to at any time.
We want to clarify that we do love hearing from our faculty and staff. Listening to them talk about their faith instead of the complexities of biochemistry or music theory is certainly a blessing. However, we have opportunities to interact with them on a daily basis. Most faculty and staff have an open-door policy, and topics of faith are easily addressed.
However, how often do we have the opportunity to ask James Choung questions about spiritual renewal and witnessing to our friends in such an individualist, materialistic culture? When do we get the chance to hug the best-selling author of “Love Does” while he shares story after story about loving abundantly?
The answer? Only through chapel.
Students check the chapel schedule almost religiously. We know exactly which remaining chapels we will attend to meet our requirements for the semester. And chances are Moffat Zimba will make the cut over communion.
We understand that the goal of chapel is not to bring students entertainment, but we argue that these outside speakers stimulate student engagement, as evidenced by the attendance at many Q&A sessions our staff has attended—and we have attended many of them.
So we thank the Office of Christian Formation for the opportunities we have been given to interact with important Christian leaders and speakers, and we only ask for more opportunities like it. Oh, and maybe that those outside speakers come on Tuesday so we can write about them for the Thursday paper. Thanks!