The Chimes reflects on recent SUB worship gathering

Worship continues after the end of Missions Conference.


Hannah Larson//CHIMES

Worship continues in the SUB.

Hannah Larson, Editor-in-Chief

The room is simple. Tall black drapes hang down along the far windows, creating a veil between this lower-level space and the rest of the Student Union Building. Above, lights dangle from the ceiling, illuminating a red and beige carpet in the middle of the floor. The amber glow emanating from lamps along the far wall bathes the room in a soft light even as the Lord floods it with his peace. 

Students keep coming in and reclining on cranberry-colored couches, sitting right on the floor or standing with arms raised in worship. In the center of the room, beneath two cloud-like cotton masses suspended from the ceiling, is the worship band. Two guitarists lead songs and another musician accompanies on a cajon drum. It is as simple a setup as one can imagine — no smoke, no fire, just music stands, four speakers by the stage, a few microphones and a room full of singing students.

On the upper level of the SUB overlooking this spontaneous worship hub are more students, resting their hands and elbows on the railing as they sing along. Others sit on the stairs and journal or just lean against the wall and watch the band. 

The gathering is calm. There are a few hands raised, some people standing, but the majority are sitting cross-legged on the floor. Some sit on the couch; a few kneel. Along one wall is a poster made of a few hastily stapled sheets of brown paper that poses a question: How is God asking you to live out the Great Commission? Biolans scrawled their answers on the pink and yellow sticky notes scattered across the board: “To show my younger brother in Christ what it means to be a man of God.” “I feel God stirring my heart for missions.” “To teach music and to help the unreached develop a culture of worship.” “To be bold in listening to the Holy Spirit.” 

And with a few crackers and cups of juice set aside on a table for Communion, the Lord turned the bottom floor of the SUB into the Upper Room.


What began as a small space set aside as a prayer room during Missions Conference transformed into a center for prayer, praise, Scripture reading and confession as the weekend progressed. When I walked into the gathering on Sunday night, there was an almost palpable sense of peace in the room. There was no manipulation, no sensationalism, just a room full of students singing to the Lord. Here, there was a call for repentance as a musician implored students to ask God to “clean out the gunk” in their hearts and confess before him. Such change was acknowledged to be a work of God, not a self-cleansing manufactured by the believer themselves. 

As the hours passed, whispered prayers broke out around the room. Students bowed their heads together in groups of two or three while quiet instrumental guitar and piano music played in the background. Nearly every person in the room gathered around one worshiper who asked for prayer for her family, laid hands on her and prayed for healing. Anthems of the faith — “Great Are You Lord” and “Build My Life” — rang out. And at 10:37 p.m. on this Sunday night, over 50 students stood in the room and sang about the power of the blood of Christ. 

The Chimes joyfully acknowledges the work that the Lord is doing among the members of the student body at Biola and asks that he continue to reveal himself to students in new and fresh ways through worship and his Word. We give thanks to the Holy Spirit, who demonstrated his power anew during Missions Conference and ask that he would produce lasting fruit in Biolans’ lives; that the seed of God’s Word would fall on soft soil and that the Lord of the harvest would send workers out into the mission field with a renewed zeal and love for the unreached. We give Christ the glory for this unexpected outpouring of the Holy Spirit and ask that he would continue to transform our hearts and lives in the days ahead.

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