Wartburg student Tawanda Murinda has a tough time escaping the busy schedule of his everyday life, but on Wednesday nights, a new faith expression group on campus gives him a chance to relax and experience some self-reflection.
The Way of Jesus is an hour-long session that gives Murinda and other members the chance to talk openly about their faith and make connections between their lives and different teachings from the Bible.
“It’s a way for students to grow deeper in their faith or for those who are exploring faith to have an opportunity to do that with other people,” group leader, Rev. Brian Beckstrom, said.
Laura Tanner said The Way of Jesus is more than just a faith-based study group.
“It’s a great way to reflect on your faith and to get to know people,” Tanner said.
Beckstrom said the new faith expression group was originally based off a once active Wartburg faith group called the Jesus Experiment, but he said there are many things that make The Way of Jesus unique to students.
One new concept is a segment called, “The Examine.” This is a process in which members spend time reflecting on their own life and how the selected scripture for the evening connects with them individually.
Students also go on faith walks, a short walk around campus where members can meet new people and share their faith with others.
Beckstrom said a big reason for creating the new group was to help students that struggle to find a connection with God while at college.
“A lot of students come from faith backgrounds, and they get to college and put faith off to the side,” said Beckstrom.
“We wanted to have an opportunity for people to get reconnected with their faith.”
Murinda agreed that it can be difficult to find time for God during the busy school week.
“Sometimes when you are on campus, there are so many things going on and you don’t have time to reflect on your own life,” said Murinda.
“When you come here, there are questions that are asked that make you think, and through that thinking you get reflection.”
Whatever the reason may be, Beckstrom said The Way of Jesus is creating quite a fan base in its first few weeks on campus and has already amassed over a dozen regular members.
Beckstrom said he hopes the popularity for this new group will continue to grow on campus and that students will take away a much deeper meaning than just a religion-based study group.
“We want this to be training on what it means to be a follower of Jesus,” Beckstrom said.