By Tessa Short
Campus Ministries started a new bible study, named Called, for first-year students in September. The program is based off of the book, also titled “Called,” written by Mark Labberton.
The eight-week bible study is led by Campus Pastor Stephen Intagliata, ministry assistants and pastoral assistants. The weekly meetings begin with a large-group discussion led by two students from the ministry team. Following the broader discussion, the large groups are divided into smaller groups for more intimate conversation.
Intagliata explains the two ways people feel a sense of calling, as explained in the book “Called,” that is a basis foundation for the bible study.
“Our primary calling is to follow Jesus and live out the great commandments, regardless of our individual passions and vocations,” said Intagliata. “Then there is a more specific call based on our passions, gifts and our God-given calling.”
Intagliata said the purpose of the new bible study is to help first-year students identify their calling while also providing a sense of Christian community.
Students have recognized the community and the relationships built through the bible study.
“When I came to Bluffton I was looking for a ministry team or a Christian club to belong to,” said freshman Lily Yoder. “Called was exactly what I was looking for because of the community it creates.”
“Through Called, I have developed relationships with first-year students that aren’t even on my floor,” said junior ministry assistant Jayden Groppi. “I went to church with some of the freshman in my small group this past Sunday.”
Intagliata said the bible study isn’t only about developing first-year students but also the student ministry team. Groppi also identified the development of his own individual ministry leadership.
“It’s a growing experience for me too,” said Groppi. “It has challenged my leadership. By leading a small group it makes me need to be prepared to engage and lead the discussion.”
When asked if a freshman bible study should be held in future years both students said yes.
“After being a part of Called, I really wish there was something like this when I was a freshman,” said Groppi.
“It makes first-year students feel connected by providing a Christian community while developing yourself,” said Yoder. “So yes, I agree it should happen again in the years to come.”