Twelve-Hour Worship Event Has One Goal: Glorify God

The sophomore class council is inviting students to spend some time in worship and prayer on Nov. 22 for the second annual Downpour 12-hour worship session.

Downpour will begin at 2 p.m. and continue until 2 a.m. in the Center for Biblical and Theological Studies (BTS) in rooms 101, 102 and 103. Sophomore class chaplain Steve Clark said students can come and go as they please.

Sophomore class president Zach Curtis introduced the idea for Downpour his freshmen year. He borrowed the idea from a high school friend who had created a long worship session model off of Lee University.

“This is like the grandson of the original,” Curtis said.

Downpour was intended to help students who were getting lukewarm with God, Curtis said. He wanted it to be an event that helped people refocus their relationship with Christ.

The event will incorporate music from various bands and performers and times of prayer.

This year the sophomore class council has incorporated minor changes to the event, including prayer stations and a short message from Clark.

“We’re putting a little more emphasis on the prayer room this year,” Clark said.

Another change to the night will be a short time of preaching by Clark.

“Last year we couldn’t really subtly set up for the bigger bands later on in the night without distracting from the acoustic person,” Clark said.

During the half hour transition of setup, Clark will use the time to speak about prayer.

Curtis said he is expecting the same turnout as last year, which around 250 to 300 people attended over the course of the event.

Clark said the most people they probably had at one time was 150. Sophomore secretary Chloe Plum says high numbers are not the goal for the class council, just willing hearts.

“(The goal is) glorifying God even if that’s just one person,” Plum said.

Sophomore class vice president Jared Vanderbeck said they want to be in line with what God wants.

“(We want to) have it be of his power and not of our power, so whatever God blesses number-wise, then that’s all for his glory,” Vanderbeck said.

Curtis said they have a video and slide set to be played in chapel, posters and a Facebook group to be launched, but much of the advertisement for Downpour is through word of mouth.

“People stopped in, were just really excited about what was going on, and they’d tell their friends,” Vanderbeck said.

Curtis says the location being in the BTS Youth Room instantly meets people when they walk in.

“When there’s that many people singing and playing worship it kind of rings in the whole building,” Curtis said.

Class council allows the bands to control the music they play. This year the song “Let it Rain” by Michael W. Smith has been picked to serve as theme of sorts for the event, Vanderbeck said.

“It’s all about God sending down his Spirit and just praying and wanting to see him,” Vanderbeck said.

Vanderbeck said last year they wanted to include as many freshmen as possible.

“I’m a worship major and a lot of the worship majors coming in didn’t make the bands they wanted, or students in general, but this got them a chance to come in and give them a chance to worship as well as lead,” he said.

This year they have tried to include all grades because Downpour is not just for the sophomore class.

“There’s a couple brother-sister units that are involved in this, and we asked all around and got responses from people who were able to do it,” Vanderbeck said.

In all, Downpour is an opportunity for students who want to get involved.

“Basically whatever you put in, you can get out,” Clark said. “It offers people a good chance to slow down, focus on God, but also do it as a community.”

Downpour allows students a chance to step back from their busy school lives.

“Often times we have corporate worship and we think that’s all we need, but Downpour is a way for there to be corporate worship as well as individual time with God,” sophomore treasurer RJ Kelly said.

Clark said the event also serves as a ministry opportunity.

“It’s not an event that we put on just so our class can see us do something, but it’s something that ministers to everyone,” Clark said.

Curtis said Downpour is also a chance for those who have completely turned away from God to commit to being fully engaged in Christianity, to fully love God and do what that means.

“I would ask people to come but not to come for a good, fun time,” Curtis said, “but come ready to meet God wherever he would meet them and to come just to spend time with him in whatever capacity that may be.”

Kathryn Sill is a sophomore journalism major and an arts & entertainment writer for Cedars. She loves running, dogs and eating food.

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