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Walla Walla, WA
Friday, December 8, 2023

Double the credit, twice the fun

December 1, 2022
Tyler Kruger

Reissue. Originally Published April 29, 1999

Tyler Kruger

You might asking, be "Why should I a busy college student, join a small 

group?" Jesus Christ. If you've never joined a small group, try finding one to fit your needs. 

Small groups. When you hear the term what immediately comes to mind? A group of elderly people huddled together praying? A family gathered for worship? Teens united in service? College students receiving two credits instead of one? The early church? 

Whatever your preconceived no-cons are, I hope you discover shat small groups might just be all of the above. 

My first small group happened when Ernie Bursey, professor of theology, gave his students several options for class projects. 

Three of us decided that we had read enough books and written enough papers, so we formed a very "small" group. What began as a simple assignment turned into a meaningful experience. We actually found ourselves looking forward to the weekly meetings-reading, praying and asking questions raised from our studies in the book of Revelation. The positive memories motivated me to join and lead future small groups. 

You might be asking, "Why should I, a busy college student, join a small group?" John Cress, WWC chaplain, boldly says, 

"Small groups are the church." 

They bring a sense of closeness and community that large churches simply cannot offer. People check acceptance and friendship through music, drama, sports and art. While these various groups and mediums are nice, if they don't include Christ as the central focus, I believe they lack the full potential God would have them to be. How many students are involved in small groups? Since 1989 the number has slowly grown. Sarah Stanley, small-groups coordinator, says that currently over 40 small groups meet on a weekly basis. She estimated that approximately 300 students are involved in these small groups. Within the 40 small groups exists immense diversity in size, focus and pur-pose. Here are seven different groups that I would like to high-light: 

Chris Drake, junior mass communications, and his group went south over the spring break. They joined other teams in Baja, Calif., in constructing an RV park as part of a Maranatha project. Their group wanted to put service into action. 

Shanna Bailey, senior environmental science, gets together with a group of fellow environmental science majors and community  

members to discuss books such as God is Green and Deep Ecology. I'm guessing their focus is to keep our planet safe. Lindy Renck, sophomore occupational therapy, and her friends are studying a Max Lucado book. If you've never read one of his books, do it. 

Tom Eby, senior Biblical languages, encourages his friends to practice French in their weekly gatherings. Yes, this is a mixed group and open to everyone interested in learning the French language. 

Jimmy Painter, sophomore business administration, and Bruce Harris, sophomore business administration, just began their small group this quarter. 

Each week they take a look at one specific parable, cutting and dissecting it in hopes of gaining the most understanding possible. 

Kristi Roos, senior biophysics, and company gather on Friday evenings to study the quarterly and be prepared for Sabbath School in the morning. 

Finally, Gabe Orozco, sophomore mass communications, leads out in a wonderful praise and worship service every Tuesday evening in Heubach Chapel beginning at 9:30 p.m. 

If you've never gone, I mend it_-low key, low lights, laid back and Spirit-filled. 

A couple groups that are currently involved in the community on Sabbath afternoons but don't offer worship credit include Kids in Action organized by Ellen Park, freshman nursing, and Ed Schwisow's, junior mass communications, door-to-door ministry. 

My small group has done many things, even watch a sunset from Whitman Mission! 

While I've barely scratched the surface on this subject, I hope you realize there is a place for you. I encourage everyone to grab your friends, be creative and grow in your relationship with Jesus Christ. If you've never joined a small group, try finding one to fit your needs. It's not too late to begin. 

Call the small group coordinators today at 2666 or stop by and talk with Sarah Stanley or Josh Brunkhorst, the small group coordinators on campus. They'll be glad to help you. 

Maybe you feel you're too busy. 

Take time out. Find some friends who you can be honest with, and hey, it' seven worth double the credit!

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