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The Echo
Taylor University, Upland, IN
Thursday, May 30, 2024
The Echo

How firm a foundation: Fostering postures of servant leadership

Students serve inside and outside of majors

Multiple phrases have become synonymous with Taylor University: intentional community, ring by spring, walk the loop and life to the full, to name a few. 

Some of these sayings have been used more than others, and some students consider others cliches. With that said, one of these phrases is truly what embodies some of the students on Taylor’s campus: servant leadership.

Sydney Dolson is a junior Christian ministries major who also serves as a Discipleship Assistant on second center English. 

Dolson cares deeply for others and believes ministry is powerful and something she is called into.

“Ministry is loving people, serving them well, ministering to them and helping a need,” Dolson said. “I think that could be like a food pantry or whatnot, but also helping them with their need of Christ, and recognizing that and bringing them into the fullness of what Christ desires for them.”

Christian ministry majors are getting a degree to minister to people. Many people may think they are just taking classes to learn how to do that better, but Dolson feels like there is much more to it. She tries her best to serve within the major.

Dolson has been able to serve as a small group leader for underclassmen  in the Christian ministry major. Over time, she has noticed that studying religion and how to serve others in a ministry capacity can make it difficult to determine one's relationship with God.

“It can make it hard for you to want to approach God on your terms when you're doing that stuff for school,” Dolson said. “So I like helping people bridge that gap and make school worshipful.”

One of the ways Dolson has been able to minister is through her experiences at Basics at Upland Community Church (UCC). 

Basics is a youth program hosted by UCC for second through fifth graders, and its goal is to teach youth the basics of the gospel while getting kids interested in the Bible and Christianity.

“Our purpose is to see Basics clubbers grounded in the basics of the Christian faith. We do this through large-group and small group Bible studies, relationships with their college and high school student leaders, Bible memorization, and Scripture reading,” writes the UCC website. “This high energy club is a great chance for kids to begin studying theology and ask questions!” 

Dolson enjoys serving in this role specifically because she gets the chance to minister to others off campus.

Although there are many other forms of ministry on the Taylor campus, not everyone has to be a ministry major to make an impact. 

Senior Seth Griswold is a communication major with a minor in youth ministry. When it comes to who is serving, he believes that it doesn’t matter what major someone is.

“It's more of just word of mouth by Taylor students,” Griswold said. “I wouldn't say it's by major; it's just people are like, ‘Well, yeah, I have some time to serve so I might as well give back a little bit.’” 

One thing that is important to Griswold is kingdom impact. This has been one of the main goals of the Taylor football team. Griswold has been a member for all four years and will fondly remember getting to help serve his campus and his community.

He has noticed there are so many different places to serve and grow in closeness with God.

“We serve to pour into others,” Griswold said. “But as you do that, you also grow as well, and you realize that what you're doing is an act of service for the Lord.”