Standing in the Gap shares ministry
December 6, 2010 —
A white elephant gift exchange, Christmas-themed snacks, board games and a game of Ninja were just some of the things students could find at the Standing in the Gap Christmas party.
The white elephant exchange featured gifts such as a superhero coloring book,used gift cards, handmade shirts, old shoes, crayons and a Pilates for Wimps DVD.
Ninja, which resembled a game of tag, allowed students to eliminate opponents while making movements considered to be "ninja."
Nate Polzin, the group's leader, said that members will have the opportunity to join The Church in Drive and bring holiday cheer to the community. The group is invited to participate in Christmas caroling Thursday, Dec. 16, and a Christian fellowship meal Sunday, Dec. 19.
He told members the group is planning to do community outreach during spring break. Standing in the Gap will be collaborating with Central Michigan University to work with Habitat for Humanity and a soup kitchen “to reach out to the community.”
Polzin began the SVSU chapter of Standing in the Gap in 2007. He is also a pastor for The Church in Drive and said that the group is different than other religious groups on campus because it is a campus ministry.
Accounting junior Beth Ritter, who is part of the group's student leadership team and is the treasurer of The Church in Drive, said membership in the group has grown at SVSU. Currently, close to 35 people attend each week.
In past years, the group took a book of the Bible and discussed it during each meeting. Ritter explained the changes which were made as a response to an increase in attendance.
“It’s really hard to have a discussion when there are 30- plus people,” she said.
The format now includes worship at the beginning and the end with a message delivered by Polzin in the middle. After the service, members go to Applebee's where Ritter says the group can grow in fellowship and “have more time to spend together.”
With two meetings left this semester, Ritter said the final one will be called a senior send off.
“Any seniors, or anybody else who is leaving the group, can share what they learned with everybody,” she said. “We send them off to wherever they’re going next, whether that is grad school or getting a job.
She added that those who are departing the group usually leave remaining members with a challenge “to push forward and keep going.”
Ritter said the group invites all Christian denominations and non- Christians to attend.
“It doesn’t matter where you are with your walk with Christ, or even if you don’t know him yet and just have questions,” she said. “Everybody is welcome to Standing in the Gap, and that is one of the things we try to do is make everybody feel welcome.”
Standing in the Gap meets at 7:30 Wednesday nights in the Alumni Lounge.