New football Coach Jamey Chadwell and author Elizabeth Woodson kickstart Convo semester

Liberty University commenced its 2023 Convocation season on Wednesday, Jan. 18 with Jamey Chadwell, the new coach for the Liberty Flames football team. 

Chadwell began his message by expressing that for his “inaugural season” at Liberty University, he wanted to come up with a word to define himself and the team to provide them with a foundation for the season. He chose the word “embrace” to signify embracing all the season’s new challenges, opportunities and changes.

Chadwell also conveyed that he wanted to build the team based on four core principles: competition, discipline, accountability and purpose. Chadwell went on to challenge students to examine their motivations for their actions. 

“Most importantly, don’t define yourself by what you do, (but) define yourself by why you do it,” Chadwell said. “If you have a strong purpose and you have a strong ‘why,’ then you know that you can fight
through adversity.” 

He urged the student body to be not only believers in Christ, but followers of Christ.

“In the Gospels, it says ‘believe in me’ five times, but it says, ‘follow me’ 20 times,” Chadwell said. “And I’m a big believer that when you want to believe in something, you have to believe and follow. They’re connected. But to follow something — that means you’re willing to sacrifice something for it.” 

He emphasized that his goal in training the Flames goes beyond winning. 

Liberty’s new Head Football Coach, Jamey Chadwell, speaks at convocation in the Vines Center on January 18, 2023. (Photo by Matt Reynolds)

“If all it is is about winning, then I’m doing them a disservice. It’s more than winning — it’s bigger than that,” Chadwell said. “My job is to prepare them to be a husband, a father, an employee, an employer and impact people for the next 50 years of their lives. That’s my job.” 

On Friday, Jan. 20, students received a message from author and speaker Elizabeth Woodson. From Woodson’s teaching, students learned that the way to be resilient through life’s challenges is to root themselves in Christ. 

Woodson highlighted the significance of truly knowing God’s word for oneself. 

“Part of the reason that we study our Bibles and read through it slowly is to be able to know the truth,” Woodson said. “The false teaching that we hear online through social media can seem like truth. It always has elements of truth, but it’s hard to know what’s true and false when you don’t know what’s in here (the Bible). This is what will
ground you.” 

Woodson referenced John 13:35 and the importance of loving one another during her message.

“If we say we love God, we have to love what he loves,” Woodson said. “The greatest witness to our faith is how we treat
other people.” 

She asserted that believers know how the story ends, which gives them an unparalleled hope in this life. As a result, she encouraged students by saying that they must walk in the fullness of the hope they have from the Holy Spirit. 

Elizabeth Woodson is Photographed In Convocation in the Vines Center on January 20th, 2023. (Photo by Chase Reed)

Woodson then challenged students by asking, “Do you just check in with the Holy Spirit, or do you live dependent upon him?” 

She told students that it is okay to have doubts, that God knows of these doubts and that the best thing to do is to bring those uncertainties to him. 

For more upcoming information about Convocation, follow @LibertyOSD on Instagram.

Scott is a copy editor for the Liberty Champion

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