Fall Semester: Bonding Point

The Small Group Volleyball Tournament

There are certain times during the span of every school year that are bonding points for the students. Sure, students usually grow closer together during the midst of classes and hanging out, but we’ve noticed specific events in the life of our chapter that happen every year and naturally facilitate community “growth spurts”. One of these is our small group volleyball tournament, which is held every fall in late September. Others include 222, Eastern VA’s area IV fall conference in Nov, and the CNU IV chapter retreat in Feb.

The volleyball tournament is always a sight to behold – small groups compete against one another not just for a regular volleyball title, but also in a group costume contest and with “bribes” for the judges ranging from delicious food to massages. Since groups aren’t only judged on athletic ability, we’ve found that all students can find their niche in the event and more people get involved.

In fact, the bonding starts well before the tournament begins. I heard from multiple small group leaders this year that they had struggled with helping their members get to know each other in deep ways before this event. Then, they were faced with the challenge of coming up with a costume theme, ideas for bribes and a strategy for game play. They had to come together as a team, and had fun doing it. Going out and getting supplies to make costumes got the students involved in each other’s lives outside of Bible study.

Seeing the groups show up at the court is something I wish all of you could see – especially since the costumes get better and more outrageous each year. We’ve had everything including: superheroes, ninjas, zombies, characters from Dr. Seuss books and Mario brothers video games, nerds, princesses, brides and the list goes on.

The best part about it is that the entire event is student planned and run, and God delights to use a few thrift store costumes, some brownies and very unprofessionally played volleyball to His glory. He not only draws people together within their own small groups, but since the groups all come together, God somehow masterfully also uses the time to weave a new pattern of community in the larger context of the chapter, too. We praise Him for the ways that His Spirit unites us together, especially grateful that He cast His Son out so that we could be drawn in, and experience what it is to belong!

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