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Burkey brings experience and structure to Chapel

By Tessa Short

Campus Ministries hired Jonathan Burkey this August to serve as the worship leader during Chapel. Burkey is also the Worship Arts Pastor at Lima Community Church.

Students have noticed Burkey’s presence during Chapel, as well as the change he has brought with him.

Jonathan Burkey, photo used with permission

“Having Jonathan helps provide a structure,” said senior Chelsea Zoltowski. “It seems more put together. Jonathan is experienced in bringing together a group of people for worship.”

“When he leads, he engages us and that makes Chapel even more enjoyable,” said junior Morganne Faler. “The leaders seem to have more confidence when Jonathan is there.”

Burkey said that there are some differences between working with college students and his community church.

“The biggest difference is that in a local church context, you are not trying to be inclusive to all faith contexts,” said Burkey. “Whereas in a college chapel, you are catering to many different denominations of students.”

Burkey said by not tailoring to one denomination, some songs are different than what he is used to singing. Sometimes the worship team will sing hymns that are led at different tempos or with different chord arrangements.

“The variety of songs of Christian music is a lot more than my church context,” Burkey said. “In Chapel we don’t repeat songs as often.”

The biggest difference Burkey noticed between a college and church setting is the structure. Chapel doesn’t include baptisms, congregational prayer time or communion. Chapel consists of songs, scripture and speakers.

Burkey spoke at the second Chapel service of the year and said one thing he really enjoys about working with college students is the opportunity to teach.

“What I enjoy most about college students is that they tend to be humble,” said Burkey. “They tend to be open to their minds being changed. It’s a humbling experience.”

Students like the way Burkey interacts with them, too.

“He tends to connect with students really well, and I really enjoy that,” said sophomore Megan Hill.

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