A change is happening around campus, bringing communities together for the Lord. This year for Northwestern’s Praise and Worship the focus is unity, rooted in a determination to form bonds between NW students, but also with people from Dordt University, Trinity Reformed Church, First Reformed Church and more across Sioux County.
“We are on the same team. We are just in different locations. What if we did the same thing with the same goal together?” Director of Worship Josh Kuipers said. “I would love for us as the body of Christ at Northwestern to have that mindset. Yeah, we might not agree on everything, but one thing that we can agree on is God is worthy of our worship and our love.”
Last year a program was started called CenterPoint. People from all around Sioux County would come together for a night of worship. However, the change this year is that the events are during NW’s P&W time.
Some Campus Ministry leaders were worried about this choice to sacrifice P&W a few times a semester but ultimately decided it was worth it and that this is where God was leading.
“I have had the opportunity to play a few worship services with students from Dordt for various Unity P&Ws,” said Sydney Hughes, worship team leader and senior. “Through these experiences, I have more fully realized that there are believers on fire for Jesus outside the walls of Northwestern, and that includes Dordt students. Division has ruled for too long, and it is time for us to put aside our trivial differences and unite as the body of Christ.”
Dordt student Damon Groen is a junior worship arts major and is in favor of these ideas of unity and CenterPoint services, believing this is all following the commands of Scripture.
“We want to have a like-mind, the mind of Christ and give Him our praise and thanks and worship together,” Groen said. “Maybe it’s us saying this: ‘Every knee at Dordt and Northwestern will bow, and every tongue in northwest Iowa will confess that Jesus is Lord. He is worthy.’”
Groen said the first CenterPoint service this year was very well executed.
“The leaders of the service did a great job putting together a God-glorifying and powerful service through praise, worship, prayer and intercession,” Groen said.
NW senior Megan Willroth regularly attends P&W and attended the first CenterPoint service this year. She also thinks the service went well and is in favor of the theme of unity.
“Unity is something that is very important for Christians to practice because we’re all one body and we’re supposed to show that in the way we act and go about our daily lives, and so that unity is within Northwestern but also the people of the community and Dordt,” Willroth said.
Kuipers agrees about the importance of unity.
“I really feel like the more we lean into this and the more we invest in the church around us, the more fruit we are going to bear and the more we are going to experience the goodness of God,” Kuipers said. “[Dordt] helps us grow and stretch, and we have something unique to offer the other places as well. It is so clear where the Lord has been leading, and that gives us confidence.”
The location of CenterPoint will be rotating every month between Orange City and Sioux Center to reinforce the idea that this service is for the community. Anyone who wants to come is welcome.
“If we want to shape our culture and change the world, in order to bring the kingdom of God, we need to work together,” Groen said.