Impact Your World week, which takes place this week, has been a spiritual tradition at AU for many years. It is a compelling week where a guest speaker comes to share testimonies and to encourage students to go out into the world to disciple.
This year’s 2018 Impact Your World week has featured guest speaker and AU alumni Matt Ingalls. Ingalls spoke in chapel on Tuesday morning and in the evening. He will speak tonight at 6 p.m. in Reardon Lobby. These services will integrate worship and reflection in small groups regarding going into the world to represent Jesus through our actions, faith and discipleship.
The chapel service on Thursday, Feb. 22, will host a panel of several local Anderson organizations such as First Choice for Women, Special Olympics, Operation Foundation, South Meridian Church of God, Dove Harbor, Man 4 Man and Operation Love, all of whom will discuss “Impact Anderson.”
“Impact Anderson” includes these organizations’ service to the community and invites students to join the volunteer work that they do on a regular basis.
During the panel discussions, the organizations will share how they serve and impact the community they live in with stories and experiences that they have shared with people. Additionally, during Thursday’s chapel, a student will be awarded the Nicholson Student Servant Leadership Award for their time of service on campus and in the community.
Students can expect further spiritual aspects that include open prayer room time led by Michaela McCurdy, student coordinator for AU’s prayer ministry. This will be located in the Morrison House basement from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 23.
According to campus pastor Tamara Shelton, “Impact Your World week is an opportunity for students to embrace the invitation to consider how they may make an impact on the world, particularly by following the example of Jesus Christ.”
AU Spiritual Life staff has taken the time to coordinate these events and services so that students can think broadly and impact the world. Director of Spiritual Formation Becca Palmer emphasizes that Impact Your World Week encourages students to think about faith in community.
“Spiritual Emphasis week in the fall focuses more of the inward spiritual experience, and then Impact Your World week in the spring focuses on the outward experience of impacting those around you,” says Palmer.
The guest speaker this year offered his perspective on practicing faith through service. Ingalls graduated from AU in 2007 with a degree in Christian ministries. He is the author of his devotional book, “The Upside Down Way,” and also pastors at River Street Church of God in Newborn, Oregon.
When Ingalls attended AU as a student, he created a campus ministry called “Neighbors,” which went into the community to serve in any way needed. On the weekends, the ministry team would go to Anderson homes to see if they needed assistance with household tasks such as raking leaves, taking out the trash or caregiving services to the elderly.
Shelton says that Ingalls is “excited to return to AU to foster conversations about how Jesus and his kingdom can help us impact our world.”
“Our faith is deeply connected to how we live in the world,” says Shelton. “The hope is that the AU community will more fully discover what it looks like to live as a follower of Christ in the world.”
When organizing the chapel services and selecting the guest speaker for Impact Your World week, AU Spiritual Life staff desires for students on campus to be pushed and challenged to step out in faith now, when they graduate and one day lead new lives outside of AU.
“Plenty of students here think about what’s next for them and what Jesus has called them to do after their time here,” says Palmer.
“Making that connection for students is why we have Impact Your World Week, which is why AU as an institution values not only spiritual emphasis, but also impacting our world.”