Elevate: College Ministry
Most people do not think of developing a relationship with God when they think of college. Lately though, one particular activity that has become more popular at Morningside College is Elevate.
Elevate is college ministry. It is where college students can meet in a large group and discuss the Word. It is held at Sunnybrook Church and is open for all college students. The students are not only from Morningside but Briar Cliff and WIT as well.
Bailee Keizer, a senior at Morningside, has been a student leader at Elevate for two years now. She says Elevate has grown more popular this year than it was last year.
“I think people like going to Elevate because there are a lot of familiar faces that they see there. Also because it allows everyone to meet on common ground and they know it’s a safe place to go.”
It seems college students want to be able to talk about God and the Bible. If they didn’t than why would they use their Tuesday night and an hour and a half of their time to do so? Elevate must be discussing more than what a college student could get out of Sunday service.
Keizer really stressed that Elevate is a group specifically designed for college students. “I think the leaders try to aim for the things a typical college student would be going through.”
The night’s topic could range anywhere from discussing the Grace of God or even the topic of sex. There is a vast area that college students want to discuss and know more about.
We know Elevate is for college students but what do college students do at Elevate? How is it set up?
Keizer described, “We get together and sing a few worship songs which are super legit! And then someone usually gives a message or we split into small discussion groups. Then we eat pizza and have some awesome fellowship afterwards!”
Elevate was stared at Sunnybrook Church in 2008 and is led by Chris Ver Steeg.Ver Steeg explained that the name for the group is Elevate because it was created to elevate the name of Jesus and provide a great worship service.
“I think people are attracted to a place where they are accepted and they can be themselves, have a safe place to ask spiritual questions and be a part of something bigger than themselves.”
Chris really wanted to highlight that there are actually five things that are core values that make up Elevate. Elevate is about a relationship with God, it exists to elevate the name of Jesus, it makes the Bible applicable, creates a welcoming and accepting environment and helps students take a leap of faith.
“Elevate wants to provide a place where college students can take a leap of faith and be a part of something bigger than themselves. We want to provide opportunities where people can get involved in making the world a better place where they have to learn to depend on God, they get to experience God and see God working rather than just read about God.”
Elevate is such a big part of student’s lives that they continue to return even after they have graduated. There is something about the quality of the group and the values that it stresses that really drives into student’s hearts.
Ver Steeg added, “I would encourage all college students to come and check out Elevate just once, it is tailor made for college students. I guarantee you will be encouraged and you will find something at Elevate for everyone! Elevate is every Tuesday night at 7:30pm at Sunnybrook Community Church.”