Spiritual Growth Conference 2023

At New Hope Christian College, our primary focus is on the spiritual growth of each student who is enrolled. Student Life oversees the discipleship program called “Ignite Spiritual Formation.” This program comprises four foundational elements: Devotions, Chapels, Life Groups, and Spiritual Growth Conferences. As we commit to training the upcoming generation of leaders, we will continue to see the rise of the Great Commission in full effect.

Recently, we hosted our two-day Spiritual Growth Conference for the semester, where classes were replaced with sessions for extended worship, a time in the Word, and a faith-filled outreach. Our heart is to provide an environment conducive to personal and spiritual growth and maturity. Integrating biblical academic content and practical experience adds value to their relationship with the Lord. Furthermore, we curated an experience about coming “Back to the Basics.” 

On the first day, students heard from Dr. Donald Grafton, our Academic Dean and instructor, on his experiences with the basics of faith, based on our central verse for the conference, Colossians 2:6-8. Along with a powerful testimony, he incorporated his family and gave a powerful charge for the students to keep their relationship with God at the center of their lives. Following this, the students heard from Pastor Aaron Cordeiro, who brought Colossians 2:8 to life with practical things from today’s world that may distract people from the basics of their faith. 

We not only want the students to learn by hearing, we want them to put what they learn into practice. We did this by having them go out and exercise the basics of their faith. Students were broken up into groups and dropped off at specific locations around Eugene. They were given safety precautions, but the only instruction was to rely on the Holy Spirit to bless and share with people He places on their hearts. This prompted the students to get off “The Hill” and out of their comfort zones to actively be led by the Holy Spirit. 

On the second day, we gave each student the time to process what they experienced the day before with each other in what we call our “Fireside Chats.” We then spent the rest of the day cultivating unity and fellowship with games that involve teamwork, creativity, and initiative. A specific highlight from our games was the last one called Bible Stories. Students were broken up into groups, with each team picking from a hat both a Scripture to reenact and a medium in which they were to reenact it. Each group had to tie the Scripture to how it pertained to the basics that were learned at the conference. There were plenty of laughs, dances, and costumes to go around, with the winner being chosen by our panel of judges composed of different staff members. How thankful and blessed we are to do life with these students, and see how God transforms them from glory to glory!

MYSELF Chart

M.Y.S.E.L.F. is an acronym that we use to categorize all the areas of our lives, all of which should be under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. This is one of the points our students learned during their Spiritual Growth Conference taught by our Dr. Donald Grafton, and we hope this chart can help you evaluate and encourage your personal growth!

Mental: This includes what we think about, how well we think, and what we feed our mind. Consider the term metacognition: think about what you are thinking about. What do we have memorized? How proficient are we at reading, writing, and arithmetic? How well can we reason? This also includes how well we know God and His Word. Can we explain the purpose, context, and contents of each book of the Bible? 

phYsical: What about our bodies? The care for our physical selves should be surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus. What we eat and how much we eat, how and how often we exercise, sleep/rest cycles, and hygiene are all included here. And of course, sexual purity as well. Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19). 

Social: Jesus also wants to lead us in how we relate to one another. There are countless passages in the Bible about forgiving, asking for forgiveness, and treating one another with love and respect rather than selfish ambition. Are our relationships spiritually healthy? Do we need to make amends to our neighbors? What about our parents, siblings, children? 

Emotional: Our emotions, too, should come under the Lordship of Jesus. Oftentimes, we get these messed up when we laugh at what disheartens God. (How much of our entertainment promotes this?!) Do we weep at the things that make God weep, and do we rejoice at the things that make God rejoice?

Leadership: Responsibilities, vocation, employment, and the development of our giftings and callings–all of these are areas we can turn over to the Lord for His glory. Are we living to expand His Kingdom? How well do we motivate the people of God to live according to the purposes of God? God even cares about our work ethic and our punctuality.

Finances: How many passages in the Bible address money? Not just our money, but all of our resources and our management of them should be under the Lordship of Jesus. So tithes, offerings, spending, saving, and especially our patterns of generosity should be but also how we steward the other material blessings entrusted to us: our homes, our cars–our material possessions.

Click below to learn more about our programs and see what classes you can take at NHCC!

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