Friday, August 29, 2014

Spiritual recharge

Worship — The Campus Band led thousands of Liberty students in song during the three-day Spiritual Emphasis Week. Photo credit: Ruth Bibby

“Joseph’s character was greater than the promise of pleasure and the possibility of punishment,” Clayton King, the founder and president of Crossroads Worldwide, said.

The students of Liberty University fell silent as they watched King’s facial expressions illustrate the life of Joseph, King’s arms waving as his voice echoed over the Vines Center crowd. Using Joseph’s stories as examples, King began Spiritual Emphasis Week Jan. 23 by covering topics such as dreams, detours, dungeons and the destinies of Christ’s followers.

“Some of us will wind up in places we feel like we don’t deserve, and we’re sitting there thinking, ‘What about me?’” King said. “In reality, God is sitting there saying, ‘I’m preparing you for something greater.’”

According to King’s website, he began ministry in jails and churches at age 14. Known for his passion, King often challenges students with difficult questions and topics.

“Some of us are nothing more than stubborn fools because we convince ourselves that we are smarter than God and that His rules don’t apply to us,” King said. “With God, there are no accidents. Salvation is not just a point, it’s a process.”

According to King, Joseph probably believed he would live his life in his father’s divine legacy, when in reality, he faced many trials for staying true to the dream God had called him to achieve. Joseph’s trials and King’s open way of sharing his father’s recent death with the students allowed his listeners to relate to him on a personal level.

Preaching — King taught lessons from the life of Joseph. Photo credit: Ruth Bibby

“It was cool how he gave the idea that Joseph might have been this kind of snotty, spoiled kid, and God had to change him to be the person that He called him to be,” Liberty freshman John Lawson said.

King challenged students to look past their own dreams and place God at the center of their lives. He encouraged students to gain a new perspective on the pressures of everyday life.

“Stop looking at your classes, at everything, as a bother, but as preparation,” King said. “God cannot use you for what’s next if you’re not responsible with what’s now.”

King is known for visiting students around campus, meeting at certain dorms, or having dinner with students at the Reber-Thomas Dining Hall in order to develop relationships with the current body of Liberty.

“I could never, ever get tired of this place and the openness of the students to the word of God,” King said. “If I can go over and hang out with them for a half-hour and let them know that they’re a part of the community here, that’s important.”

As one of Liberty’s campus pastors, King is a frequent visitor of Liberty and speaks to the student body as a connected link to the school. Throughout his messages, students are often heard laughing, applauding and cheering on their pastor.

“Sometimes I find it difficult to really get into the presence of God at my church, but in convocation it’s easier somehow,” Liberty sophomore Sarah Witt said. “I feel more at home.”

According to King, the highlight of his ministry is seeing people saved. The reaction of Liberty to his message Thursday night, Jan. 24, demonstrated this highlight as hundreds of students came to the stage in response to God’s call.

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