Syracuse, New York – On Friday night at 7pm, Syracuse University will have the largest Christian gathering they have seen in years spanning multiple ministries and churches with 5,000 people estimated to attend.
Worship the King, which happens once a semester, will take place in the Carrier Dome, this time uniting, not only campus ministries, but the community as well. 15 campus ministries, more than 25 churches, and three colleges have worked together to have one night of community-wide worship.
Asha Thevaranjan is a child and family studies and psychology senior at SU and is the student coordinator for Worship the King. She remembers when the first Worship the King event happened.
“We had a 9/11 service – only two ministries on campus wanted to do it,” Thevaranjan said. “We were like, ‘Why don’t we have it every semester; have a service and have the students and all the Christian groups participate?’ Each semester it grew larger and is becoming a tradition. Before, it was just the campus groups and now churches are involved.”
The night starts at 6pm when the doors open and attendees can visit tables from all the supporting churches and campus ministries. Then, at 7 pm, Chancellor Kent Syverud will start the night with the official welcome. There will be worship and testimonies from the different ministries. Lastly, assistant basketball coach, Mike Hopkins, will speak.
Pastors and students have been praying regularly for SU since 2010 and have recently seen God moving on campus and in the community. John Decker is a part of the planning team and has been part of that prayer.
“We have been praying for the administration to be more favorable. Then, all of a sudden, we have a believing chancellor of the university, a believing head of Hendricks Chapel, a believing football coach and a believing basketball coach,” Decker said. “The chancellor came to a prayer time in May and really saw how a culture of honor and respect was evident in the Christians at SU.”
70 percent of Protestant Christians leave the church after high school according to a LifeWay research study from 2011. Decker said part of the aim of Worship the King is to connect college freshmen to ministries and churches as soon as they start college. Now, with the involvement of the community and local churches, high school juniors and seniors can do the same before they even graduate.
To find out more about connecting high school seniors and incoming freshman to campus ministries, click here.