USA (MNN) — Last weekend, dozens of students from various sororities and fraternities came together for three days. They laughed, they played games, and they danced. But this roaring weekend was not hosted by an affluent frat house: it was put on by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.
InterVarsity's outreach to fraternity and sorority brothers and sisters is more commonly referred to as Greek IV. By the end of the 2010-2011 school year, Greek IV will have hosted three Greek Conferences. Last weekend marked the first: Greek Conference NE.
Samantha Spencer, an InterVarsity campus staff member at DePauw University and last weekend's conference speaker, says Greek Conference serves several purposes.
"The tag line of Greek Conference is: 'Connect with God; Learn to Lead; and Change the World,'" explains Spencer. "We design Greek Conference to be a safe place for students to investigate Jesus and Christianity. We hope students can grow in their understanding of what it means to follow Jesus, as well as be trained to lead ministries in their fraternities and sororities. We also have concentrated time for seniors to consider how God may be calling them to be a world changer in the communities they will enter post-graduation."
Students at Greek Conference had a great deal of fun during the trip as they played games, enjoyed dance parties and built relationships. More importantly though, they engaged in deep conversation and were challenged by Spencer's talk of Jesus and His life. As a result, many were motivated to trust Christ for the first time.
"It seems like every campus brought students who would either identify themselves as non-Christians or who were asking significant questions about their relationships with God," Spencer says. "And we actually had 17 students make decisions this past weekend to follow Jesus."
Although Greek Conference certainly serves as a means to outreach throughout the weekend, it's particularly geared toward future outreach done by the students involved. Greek IV staff is well aware that few fraternity brothers and sorority sisters will be reachable in conventional ways, so small group leadership is vital.
"They're probably not going to walk across campus and go to a Christian meeting that has singing, or wake up early on a Sunday morning and walk into a church," says Spencer. "But they might go downstairs to their formal, or after a chapter meeting meet together in their room, and enter into an investigative study about Jesus."
Spencer says last weekend's conference gave many students the encouragement and bolstering they needed to commit to leading a small Bible study or GIG (Groups Investigating God), which will be imperative for new believers, in particular, to get involved in as they go public with their faith amidst Greek society.
Spencer reminds us that being Greek and being Christian is not always an easy dichotomy to juggle. Students will need to get plugged in with a strong Christian community to hold onto the decisions they've made. "[Pray] that these students would become connected: they would become connected with their Christian communities, their Greek IV communities. Pray that they would continue to figure out what this means to follow Jesus," says Spencer for new believers. Pray for the Greek believers that have chosen to follow Christ's call in leading the way as well.
There are still two more Greek Conferences coming up, each bigger than the first. Pray for the next conference which begins February 11 in Indianapolis. The final conference follows quickly, starting on February 18 in Charlotte. If you, a college-age son or daughter, or someone you know would be interested in attending Greek Conference, click here to learn more.