As the weather cools down and the holiday season gets closer, we get more and more excited about the most wonderful time of the year approaching–CHI ALPHA 2019! You may be thinking, isn’t this a little premature to begin talking about Chi Alpha?! I would respond the same way I do to the question, “Isn’t this a little premature to start listening to Christmas music?!”–It’s NEVER too early!

That being said, Chi Alpha 2019 is happening Thursday, February 14th-Sunday February 17th. We will be led throughout the weekend by our very own Missions Pastor, Richard Covington, and by the same band that joined us at Student Camp 2018, The Jarryd Foreman Band. We trust the leadership of these men and are very excited to partner with them.

Our theme for Chi Alpha 2019 is UPRISING, which has the goal of helping students understand what it looks like for them to walk confidently in Christ and rise up for His name, renown and glory wherever their feet fall. Students will go through the weekend with a small group of their peers that will be led by a young adult leader and will be staying at a host home of a family from our church. Chi Alpha is chock-full of fun, community and worship of Christ!

Instead of trying to use our own words help you understand the value of Chi Alpha in the lives of students, we want to share a few testimonies from the perspective of some students, leaders, and host homes! Check these out–

Year after year I see students challenged and changed during and because of Chi Alpha.

There’s a bonding that happens to the earnest attendee. A bond by the Holy Spirit to the Word as they listen and learn. A bond of students to other students and their leaders in community as they engage and trust one another. And there’s often a third bond which is host home family to student group.What a joyous thing it is to open your home as a haven of Godly learning and spiritual growth for students and to see it happen before your very eyes!

Chi Alpha is often described by students as the best event they attend all year. Students that agree will make huge calendar adjustments to attend even just a small portion of the weekend. Even those who are reticent to attend at first come away with a new and deeper understanding of who they are in Christ. And as an adult leader of students, as I witness them making high water marks in their walk with Christ, it’s hand down my favorite event too.I happy dance through the entire weekend and can’t wait for Chi Alpha kickoff February 14, 2019!! -Christy Butler, 10th grade class director

Last year was our first time to host a group of students for Chi Alpha weekend.  Although I assumed we would host girls (since we have a daughter in the student ministry), we were asked to host 7th grade boys.  I initially was a little anxious about that as I only know how to ‘do’ girls!  I had no idea what boys do for fun?!  I mean, even our video games are girly!  But, after graciously being reminded that God has a purpose for everything, we began preparing for our group of Martians – I mean 7th grade boys.  I’ll admit I bought a couple of extra bottles of Febreze and put away some favorite breakables.  However, what began as a plan to get through two days with eight boys in the house turned in to what was truly one of the highlights of our year.

First of all – our 7th grade boys ROCKED!  From the Thursday night opening event all the way to Sunday morning, we were amazed to see God move in the hearts of our guys.  The weekend was jam-packed with fun for all the students and, more importantly, was such a great time for them to bond with each other and grow closer in their walk with the Lord.  We had an awesome student leader in our home and cherished the nightly devotion times after the evening services.  It was inspiring to see their hunger and desire to learn more about the Lord.  As an added bonus, it’s been a joy to continue to watch them each Sunday as they worship and to feel invested in their lives.  It was humbling for me as well to realize I almost let the ‘fear of the unknown’ keep me from getting to experience a glimpse of life as a boy mom and miss out on relationships with some pretty incredible kids.   I am so thankful we made the decision to host last year and I have no doubt we will continue to be a part of this incredible weekend. -Keri Blair, 7th grade class leader

Chi Alpha was a super fun experience, and I learned so much. The worship probably convicted me the most. God speaks to me through music, and during worship, it’s just me and Him. In those moments, I felt closest to God. Instead of just singing along to songs like I did years before, I really listened to the words of the song, and just thought about if I could apply it to my own life. Surrendering all to him. Why? Because He made the ultimate sacrifice for me, a sinner. I knew all this before, but I’d never thought about it like that. If Jesus gave his life for me, can’t I give mine to Him? God really convicted me that.

Later we talked in small group about staying close to God, even after Chi Alpha. We all agreed that it takes a lot of effort to do this, but that it’s totally worth it. I thought about how different my life would be if I was constantly maintaining my relationship with the Lord, and not just going to Him when I needed Him. That year had been especially tough for me. I was always clinging to God in my time of trouble, but when something good happened, I almost never thanked Him for it. I was soon reminded that all good things come from God. I realized that I was only complaining to Him, and always asking for help. I decided to start writing in a journal every day about all the good things that had happened, and then go to the Lord and thank Him for those things. It really changed my attitude and I felt closer to God than I did before. I felt like I was letting God in completely, and I began to go to Him in the good and bad. My favorite part must have been the small group time because I got to hear more perspectives on certain subjects, and I could relate with the others. We laughed and we cried, but through the giggles and the tears, we knew that we could share anything with each other. It was a great time of fellowship. -Kaylee Tye, an 8th grader at Ford Middle School

As you can tell, the Lord has moved in the lives and hearts of all in involved in Chi Alpha in the past and we are praying that will be true again this year! Registration will open on December 1st! Be on the lookout for more promos and how to sign up!