September 23, 2022

Christival Helps PBA Community Tune Out Distractions to Focus on Christ

PBA News

Gifted speaker and bestselling author Clay Scroggins equipped students, faculty and staff to deal with distractions rather than allow distractions to draw them away from Christ.

Scroggins was the headline speaker for Christival, three days of powerful worship and engaging talks by dynamic Christian leaders. Austin Stone Worship led the music. Family Church Downtown and Christ Fellowship Downtown hosted the Christival services. Spiritual Development leaders also organized prayer every morning in the DeSantis Family Chapel as part of a larger Spiritual Emphasis Week.

Said Marcus Corrado, a junior studying management, “The idea of Christival is perfect, because it brings community together to worship and learn about God and impacts students in a way that makes them want to learn more about Him.”

For 20 years, Scroggins served in pastoral roles at North Point Ministries, a multisite church in Georgia led by Andy Stanley. He is the author of best-selling books How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge and How to Lead in a World of Distraction.

During the week, Scroggins focused on how people use social media, school, food and busyness to mask emotions that they don’t want to feel.

“When we don’t process our emotion, what happens to us?” Scroggins asked those who packed the sanctuary at Family Church Downtown on Wednesday morning. “It grows.”

And it comes out at times and on people that we would never want it to, he added. Scroggins’ talk on Wednesday morning addressed loneliness. “People don’t want to talk about loneliness. There’s a stigma attached to it, but it’s an epidemic in our world.”

The nature of friendships is changing due to social media and cellphones, he said. “We collect friendships like we used to collect Pokémon cards.”

Loneliness is not the problem. What we do when we’re lonely is, Scroggins said. People try without success to soothe their loneliness with friends, marriage and sexual encounters. Most people’s deepest sexual regret was because of loneliness, he said.

Loneliness is a reminder that we’re not meant to live alone, Scroggins said.

“Loneliness is an invitation from God that there’s more,” he said. “Our loving heavenly Father says ‘Come to me.’”

The book of Hebrews calls Jesus “the author and perfecter of our faith,” and 2 Corinthians 5:21 describes what Martin Luther referred to as the “great exchange,” Scroggins said. Jesus Himself experienced the excruciating pain of separation from God the Father.

“Jesus overcame loneliness so that we could experience intimacy with the Father,” Scroggins said. “Jesus took on loneliness so that you never have to be alone. You cannot be separated from your Creator.”

Scroggins concluded by suggesting three refusals:

  • Refuse to believe the feeling of loneliness. When my feelings tell me I’m lonely, I tell my feelings I’m not alone.
  • Refuse to act out of loneliness. Practice John 15 and draw near to Him.
  • Refuse to fight loneliness alone. Let other people help you with it.

Julia Golichowski, a junior studying exercise science, said, “The sermons are really applicable to college students in the season of life that they are currently in. I really appreciate that they (the Spiritual Development team) are able and willing to go above and beyond to provide ways for more students to come to chapel and reach more people.”

Photo 1: Author and speaker Clay Scroggins speaks to a packed sanctuary at Family Church Downtown during Christival 2022.

Photo 2: Austin Stone Worship plays during Christival at Christ Fellowship Downtown.

Photo 3: A student holds out his hands in worship during a Christival service in the sanctuary of Family Church Downtown.

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