This year’s Indianapolis Greek Conference—one of three regional Conferences held for Greeks each year—was Greek InterVarsity’s 20th Conference. These annual weekend gatherings continue to be a place where Christian and non-Christian students meet Jesus in powerful ways.
For example, at the Indy Conference alone:
- 735 Greeks attended from a record 65 different campuses.
- 53 decided for the first time to follow Jesus.
- 366 reconnected in relationship with Jesus, committing to fully follow him.
- 315 committed to lead or help start a ministry in their chapter to reach their friends.
- 93 indicated that they’ll seek more information about Jesus and commit to pursuing answers back on campus.
Numbers are great, but stories help give flesh to statistics. Here’s a closer look at God’s work in the lives of individual students and schools through Greek InterVarsity.
God's Work in Students from the West
Greek InterVarsity as a movement started in the Midwest at Indiana University and the University of Illinois.But in the last five years, God has been starting new things at a rapid pace, raising up movements of Greek students in the West. In the past at Greek Conference, there have been a handful of Greeks who have attended from states west of the Mississippi. But this year, over 70 students from the western states, including Utah, Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas, Oregon, and Washington, attended Greek Conference. California schools alone brought over 40 students!
Over 70 students from western states attended Greek Conference
God is clearly at work in the Greek systems across our country, calling both students and staff who are willing to plant new ministries in an often unreached part of our country. Cheston, a Kappa Sigma at the University of Utah and one of nine students who attended the Conference from that school, shared one evening after the general session that God was calling him to let go of the comfortable life he could so easily have and to pursue vocational ministry after college. God is truly calling more and more Greeks across the country to “deny themselves, take up their cross daily and follow [him]” (Luke 9:23).
God's Work in Minority Students
Many people view the majority-culture Greek system as the “white” Greek system. And it is true that the majority-culture Greek system is made up mostly of white students. (If you’re wondering why, check out my other blog post on Greek ministry.) But when you take a closer look, more and more students of color are joining the majority-culture Greek system. Greek InterVarsity staff from across the country have been challenged by their colleagues, their students, and God to care for the students of color in their fellowships and to build relationships with students in ethnic-specific Greek chapters. A learning community of Greek InterVarsity staff was formed in 2012 to prayerfully consider how to pursue multiethnicity in our ministries.
Out of this group came a desire to create safe places for students of color—in both the majority-culture Greek system and ethnic-specific Greek systems—who attend Greek Conference. This year at Greek Conference, the learning community invited students of color to a special breakfast with the general session speaker, James Choung. James, a fraternity alumnus from MIT and the former director of Asian American ministries for InterVarsity, held a Q&A where he shared his experiences of being a student of color in the majority-culture Greek system on his campus and answered questions from the crowd. Over 70 people showed up to the breakfast! One Chinese-American sorority student commented, “As difficult as it has been in the past three years for me, it has been extremely rewarding at the same time. . . . God has definitely been answering prayers.”
God's Work in Students at Western Michigan University
Bethany, a former student leader in the multiethnic InterVarsity chapter at Western Michigan University (WMU) and now a volunteer staff worker, was not part of the Greek system as an undergraduate. Yet God began to grow in her a love for Greek students and a desire to see them encounter Jesus. As a graduate student, she couldn’t join a sorority, but this didn’t stop her from reaching out to the Greek system at WMU. With the help of a GreekIV staff worker at a different school, Bethany launched a Bible study for the Greek system at WMU. The study started to gain momentum, and this year, she brought 14 fraternity and sorority students to Greek Conference! Six of these students reconnected with Jesus, and two have launched new ministries in their Greek chapters, with three more studies slated to start after spring break!
How Can God Use You to Reach Greek Students? God is clearly at work in the Greek systems around our country. He is raising up and mobilizing both Greeks and non-Greeks who care about fraternities and sororities and want to see him renew and redeem the Greek system. God is pressing forward. He is inviting us to partner with him in the work he is already doing. Are you willing to pray for Greek students? Are you willing to join God as he reaches out to every corner of our campuses? Could God be calling you to reach out to the Greek system on your campus?