ReigKnight partners with campus ministries for second year


ReigKnight is now hosted by campus ministries rather than student senate. Photo by Elizabeth Bell

ReigKnight, a monthly student-led worship service at Calvin, has partnered with campus ministries to begin its second year.

ReigKnight began last year as a student senate project but has since left senate to collaborate with the Barnabas program.

“We’re trying to partner with the Barnabas program and trying to make it more in the roots of Calvin,” said senior Becky Kim, a leader of ReigKnight.

ReigKnight regularly lasts an hour and a half to two hours and almost completely consists of singing. Services have been held in the Covenant Fine Arts Center, as well as outside on commons lawn, and draw a couple hundred people to each service.

“We want [ReigKnight] to weave into the DNA of Calvin’s culture and the way that we worship God,” she continued. “So we thought partnering with campus ministries would be the best thing.”

And as ReigKnight begins its second year, Kim said that its partnership with campus ministries is off to a good start.

“They’ve been very supportive,” she said. “They are all about revamping. They want to revamp the ministry on campus and become more tangible to the students.”

Nate Bradford, associate chaplain for residence life, has been working with ReigKnight on the partnership.

“The folks that were leading it last year wanted to continue what they started,” he said. “So they spoke with campus ministries about ways of helping it to…continue with the momentum it had.”

Bradford highlighted that the services are student-led. “This is coming from the students for the students,” he said. “It’s something we want to encourage.”

Kim said that ReigKnight can feel like something different than chapel or LOFT, Calvin’s Sunday night service.

“What makes it feel different is time. Chapel is 20 minutes and it’s a really good, efficient 20 minutes. With ReigKnight, we want to create more time for people to be saturated in God’s presence.”

Senior Yoofi Otabil, another leader of ReigKnight, recognized the fact that ReigKnight doesn’t have a sermon or offering.

“There is an emphasis on other things [at LOFT]– things that are essential to the growth of the church,” he said.  “[ReigKnight] is just one other thing that we hope to present to complement what campus ministries is doing already.”

Daniel Paulson, a Barnabas in Schultze-Eldersveld, recognized how ReigKnight is different than other worship opportunities under campus ministries.

“ReigKnight is more of a less-structured, charismatic style of worship,” he said. “That really resonates with some people in ways that chapel and LOFT don’t.”

Paulson said that this format of worship is more appealing to some.

“A lot of people appreciate the different worship style that ReigKnight brings,” said Paulson. “Since Calvin has people from so many different church backgrounds and worship backgrounds, a one-size-fits-all approach to worship doesn’t always work.”

Kim added that while some people enjoy ReigKnight, it isn’t for everyone.

“Some people might be turned off by this kind of thing and what we are doing through this,” she said. “You might actually lose people.

The idea for ReigKnight was born last year while Kim was executive vice president of student senate. But when this year’s senate took office, Kim and Otabil decided to move the project to campus ministries.

“Because it was an executive campaign [on senate], it never felt like it was everybody’s vision and goal,” said Kim. “But senate was an awesome first step. You have those relationships and the reputation of being trusted.”

Kim said senate’s partnership was a good starting point for ReigKnight.

“There was a lot of ground we had to break through last year in terms of what we were all about, reputation, spiritual breakthrough and kind of easing people into this new atmosphere of worship that we were bringing to Calvin,” said Kim.

While Kim looks to the future, she hopes that people will continue to worship through ReigKnight.

“It started as a senate campaign, but beyond that, it was more from a desire to see Calvin’s campus become a place where students would worship God in a more intimate way.”