USA (MNN) — Fraternities. Sororities. Loud music. Dancing. All in a big hotel. Sounds like a recipe for police activity right?
More like worship.
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship's Greek Conferences will include hundreds of fraternity brothers and sorority sisters, some strong in their faith, others investigating for the first time. The annual conferences will both take place in February, one to Indianapolis – February 11-13, and one in Charlotte – February 18-20.
Members of the Greek world are not generally known for their commitment to Christ, though. Despite their mostly Christian roots, most frat houses are known for beer over Bibles. So how does Greek IV get all of those students to worship? InterVarsity's Eric Holmer says the students take care of that themselves.
"It's focused on the idea of fraternity members and sorority members within their house, reaching out to those people in their house that nobody else can reach out to the way that [they can]. Somebody just knocking on their door wouldn't have the same impact as one of their brothers or sisters inviting them to something. So using that same principle, and also using the principle of the bid card…we invited everyone to Greek Conference this year. We passed out bids, so the people in the Greek system could give out bids to their brothers and sisters to this weekend experience."
A bid is essentially an invitation to a person after the Greek Rush period to enter into a sorority or fraternity. Getting a bid to the house you were hoping to get into is an exciting honor. Basically, Greek IV used the idea of hand-written, personalized bids to get people excited for Greek Conference.
And a hand-written invitation from a person they trust can go a long way to get even nonbelievers to the conference.
"A lot of them are not even Christians coming to these conferences, but they take a chance because they trust their brother, they trust their sister," says Holmer. "They know that it's something at least worthwhile to investigate because they've already got an existing relationship that's a deep one and a good one, and this conference only takes it deeper."
When the students finally make their way to Indianapolis or Charlotte for Greek Conference, they will get to choose a concentration: from leadership workshops for seasoned Christians, to exploratory sessions for seekers. They will also listen to large group speakers–former fraternity brothers themselves–engage in worship, and dance, dance, dance.
At Greek IV's last Greek Conference in October, 17 college students came to Christ, and that was a small conference. The Indianapolis conference will boast at least 375 students. Who knows what the Lord will do?
Your prayers are needed. Pray that the Lord would use this conference to ignite a fire in the hearts of Greek Christians; it wouldn't be the first time.
"It can start with just one person in a house that can change the whole Greek system. We've had a lot of stories of students coming to Greek Conference with this same experience of bringing it back to their house, and then from their house it goes to another house, and then all of a sudden there's an all Greek Bible study going."
Pray of course for the students who do not know Christ but are attending Greek Conference to grasp for the first time who Jesus is, and cling to Him. Pray not only for the invited: pray too for the inviters.
"So often they don't even think to ask [people to come], because they assume the answer is already 'no.' And we've found that sometimes the last minute invitation can go a long way, and people that come on a whim end up having their lives change that weekend, and they meet God for the first time."
These conferences have meant life change for so many. If you or a student you know sounds like a good candidate for Greek Conference 2011, check out their Web site here. The early-bird registration period for the Charlotte conference ends on Sunday, so act fast if you know you want to go. If you still need time to decide, don't worry. Registrants can register all the way up to the day of the conference.