Hundreds of students at California Baptist University gathered Sept. 7 for prayer and worship in Innovators Auditorium for Challenge Night.
The monthly event brings students together to learn about mentorship, discipleship and small-group Bible study. Besides Challenge Night, there are weekly small-group Bible studies, also known as Tribes, and life-on-life mentoring.
Brian Zunigha, director of Discipleship Ministries, said the event helps to build a spiritual community on campus.
“We want to help students take the next step in their spiritual journey with this event and stay connected with the weekly Tribes,” Zunigha said. “I would love for students to learn to share their faith along with looking at this as an opportunity to grow with others in their faith.”
Throughout the event, designated students come up to the front of the room to share a Bible verse, and everyone breaks out into prayer groups.
Jeff Lewis, director of Mobilization and assistant professor of Intercultural Studies, said Challenge Night is about discipleship and helping students get to better know God.
“I’ve been able to participate in different prayer groups in large venues and it is the most effective way to bring the whole group together as one,” Lewis said. “It allows God to speak to their hearts through prayer.”
Owen Brown, sophomore business administration major, said the event was an encouraging way to engage with fellow CBU students.
“It is sometimes hard to pray alone and I found it comforting to pray with other people and worship God,” Brown said. “It made me think a lot about how to pursue God more and make him a bigger part in my life.”
Although some large-scale events can sometimes make people feel isolated, Challenge Night brings the community of CBU together as one.
Katie Houchin, senior health science major, said it was amazing to see all the students who showed up at the event.
“Although the place was packed, I felt they led me to want to live out my faith daily and become more vigorously involved with my faith,” Houchin said. “I’m looking forward to what is in store for the next event.”