Feb 23, 2010

Group helps students search for significance

by Crystal A. Heavner

Liberty University’s Office of Student Care set off an eight-week-long Search for Significance Growth Group on Monday, Feb. 15. The group is co-headed by Student Care workers, Jason Autry and Janet Brown, and welcomes any Liberty students or even staff members who wish to join.

The group is based on Robert McGee’s best-selling book, “The Search for Significance” and will probe through the “many nuances of who we are, what Christ has done for us and how it applies to our daily lives,” Autry said. The group educates participants on how to base personal values on God’s views rather than on those of peers.

Although Autry and Brown have used this book many times in one-on-one counseling sessions, they believe the group atmosphere cultivates a deep learning community for participants where helpful dialogue can arise.

“(Students) need to hear ‘I’m not alone in this journey,’” Autry said.
This is the fourth semester Autry and Brown have led the group over the last two years.

The group’s environment is safe and open. Its three key words are “safe, intimate, and biblical” Brown said. In order to ensure such an environment is maintained, participants must sign a group covenant. This guarantees that personal experiences shared among the group do not leave the room. The goal of this specific setting is to encourage students to ask questions and share stories, Brown said.

The group focuses on the difference between guilt and conviction. The group member will learn that he or she is called to live by God’s Word, not human emotion.

“Who you are and why is based on God’s Word,” Autry said.
At the end of eight weeks, the group will have created from God’s Word a “template where students can see themselves how God, not the world sees them.” Autry said.

Autry first encountered McGee’s book several years ago when he was in college at the University of South Carolina. He read the book after recommitting his life to Christ and choosing a lifetime of ministry.

“It changed my perspective. It changed my life, really,” Autry said.
He has re-read the book a few times since then and taught it to a group of adults in a church in Charlotte, N.C., where he served as pastor before coming to Liberty three years ago to obtain a doctorate degree.

The importance of this book for all people is that it heightens awareness of biblical principles and allows “a backdrop of what they’ve learned so they can identify Satan’s lies,” Brown said.
“When life hits, our security comes to question (we have to remember) it lies in God’s truth … It is a daily awareness,” Brown said.

The Office of Student Care also offers more streamlined resources to Liberty students. Male-only groups are: Dangerous Men for men seeking to live lust-free, and Band of Brothers for men who struggle with same-sex attraction. For women, a National Eating Disorder Awareness Campaign exhibit will be held Feb. 23- 25 along with a free Women’s Health Seminar Feb. 25.

The growth group meets each Monday from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in SLAB 115. For more information call the Office of Student Care at 434-582-2651 or e-mail studentcare@liberty.edu.

Contact Crystal Heavner at

Printable Version

» Female steps up as president
» Keep Talking
» Getting back to the basics
» Values Voter Summit unites conservatives
» SPC Mitch Roberson Student fights obstacles at home and abroad
» Seeking a safe haven
» Seeing the Unseen
» Clayton King new campus pastor