Some might say that the morning chapel in the Whitlock Music Center on Mondays and Wednesdays is an inconvenience or an added stress to busy college schedules, or some might say that chapel is the key part of spiritual connection with God, prayer, and people. To others, it’s just about getting the required chapel credits. Even though there is plenty of speculation, the only way to really find out what chapel is all about on a deeper level is to be apart of the experience and to ask several students about their opinion.
Shauni Warner, a junior and chapel usher at Greenville University, says that aside from the blessings she has received from the worship and messages, chapel has caused her to build relationships with others on campus. She continues, “Seeing familiar faces each week and having meaningful conversations with them has been such a joy. The chapel is something I look forward to because, honestly, it makes my days better! There is something to be taken out of what speakers are sharing during chapel, and even if it doesn’t sink in the day you hear it, maybe you’ll remember something from that message years later. So, for the small fraction out of the week that it takes to attend one or two chapel services, the lifelong benefits far outweigh the temporary time commitment.”
Kootah Perez-Reyes, a Greenville freshman, says that going to chapel just feels right. He explains, “It tends to set the tone/mindset to want a life worthy of God’s presence. Chapel helps students like myself focus on the classroom, but it helps us out on the football fields and courts as athletes. I know that I am doing things for and in Christ’s name. It has also helped me develop many new friendships with people I never even thought I could be friends with. It feels nice knowing that I am surrounded by people who think and feel the same way.” Perez-Reyes said that he believes chapel is worth the added stress because “In the end, it’s totally worth it!”
Daniel Garzaro is a sophomore and a performer of the school’s worship team. He said, “Chapel has helped him see and hear God through the gathered community seeking and responding to God in worship. Being exposed to different views has helped me grow and have a wider understanding of my faith.” Daniel says that chapel credits are a motivation to attend and believes if some students gave it a chance, they would really like it.
The chapel seems to be more than just a place that students go to pray or obtain required credits. It’s a place they find community and fellowship in the presence of God. College life is hard, and it can especially be challenging when it’s your first steps into this big world alone. However, when God, prayer, and people come together in one accord, the essence of family and support are so prevalent. Fellowship is probably one of the most important things God wants us to learn as children, college students, and adults. It helps shape who we are, and it takes a step of faith to walk in those doors every week, whether you have a relationship with God or are just curious to see what chapel is all about. Prayer and a relationship with God are important for anything we might encounter in life, but those troubles are sure easier when we have meaningful people around us that love God, pray for us, give us daily strength, and constantly encourage us to press on. Through the community of chapel, students can work hard toward their studies, knowing that God is in their midst.