theGathering: Vulnerable Acts of Worship

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“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

On Tuesday evenings at Grand Canyon University’s Antelope Gym, hundreds of students gather to hit the pause button in their lives and spend time in close community.

“There are some wonderful experiences that happen during these captured moments,” said GCU Pastor Tim Griffin to students at theGathering on a Tuesday evening. “My hope is that you won’t have just an experience here, but that you will make some kind of choice this evening to really do some soul work in your heart and in your life tonight.”

The intimacy and belonging that students find at theGathering stems from its peaceful atmosphere, charismatic worship, and the tight quarters that bind us all together. Students raise their hands in prayer, kneel down in surrender and dance in jubilation to the Almighty. Such vulnerable acts of worship are seldom found in the midst of a hectic week.

“theGathering provides a real unique opportunity to build authentic community,” Griffin said. “Unlike Chapel where you have classes or lunch on the front end and on the back end, when you walk in you’re here for worship and then you have to jet to class – theGathering isn’t that.”

Students leave theGathering each week feeling refreshed and ready to take on the days that lay ahead in the week. As GCU freshman Molly Hayes describes it, students cherish these midweek services because life and all of your responsibilities and obligations cease for just a few moments. You are able to focus on prayer and worship.

“Without this intimacy and without this great time of worship, I think my week is just dull,” says Molly after a Tuesday night Gathering service. “This is the most intimate way of doing it…it’s nice to just come and get a breather, not worry about homework and just spend some time worshiping God.”

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