I joined a small group

"Welcome to {insert college ministry here}! We want you to get plugged into a community somewhere and what better way than by joining a small group! Small groups are a great way to meet people who are the same age as you. Want to sign up?"

I have heard that spoken in some way shape or form so many times over the past 6 six years. From theRiver, to BASIC, to Chi Alpha and Salt Co., every single college ministry night I attended during my undergrad and graduate years at UNI had an opportunity to get involved in a small group to build community.

I only ever tried it once though. My freshmen year, for one year, I met with a group of guys in the community room at Prairie Lakes Church and talked about life. One of the guys was my roommate, another the first real friend I made at UNI.  It was a great experience that I was sure to tell anybody about when they asked why they should join a small group.

Yet here I am, now a 24 year old college guy who has been a part of different ministries for a while now, and I just joined my second small group- ever.

Several weeks back, a friend was visiting family in Minnesota so I made the drive over to Northfield to spend the weekend with her and her family. On Sunday, we had the opportunity to check out one of the campuses of a new church I had wanted to go to in Mankato, Canvas Church, and wow, it was incredible. we really enjoyed the message and I could tell that they put in a lot of effort into making new and old attendees feel welcome. My first weekend attending in Mankato, I met a young couple who invited me out to an afternoon on a local lake. We grilled out, took the boat out, got stuck in the middle of the lake for a solid 30 minutes, and throughout it all, nothing felt weird.

Everything felt like normal, like home. It was the first time since moving to Mankato that I felt like I was building community.

A week later, I found myself sitting in their home, surrounded by a dozen or so other people whose names I was still uncertain of. Sitting there on the couch, making small talk with the strangers around me- it felt like freshman year again.

I was taken back to my earliest of memories of my time at UNI, when everything was new but I was surrounded by a group of people all excited for the same thing- community. That night, while sitting in my car outside of the couples home, I called the friend who went with me to Canvas in Northfield to tell her about it.

That is why I am writing this today- for those of you who maybe haven't taken the step to jump into a small group yet. Maybe you've been too afraid to. Maybe you've convinced yourself that small groups aren't for you. Or maybe, you've been telling yourself that you are just too busy for a small group- that it would be worth the minimal amounts of time you don't have. For the last five years, that's where I have found myself. I convinced myself that I didn't need a small group, that I was too busy for it. But in hindsight, I'm beginning to realize that I was probably just too afraid of jumping into a new situation and being vulnerable with people I didn't know. If joining a small group is something you haven't done, have never considered, or have actively avoided- I encourage you to reconsider.

I'm glad I did.

Dan Vorwerk



What's Happening?

  • LAMENTATIONS // TOMORROW (Thurs, Sept 21) at 8pm // Lang Hall // It's been a hard week for our country and maybe even for you personally. Come sit and listen as Alice Shirey continues our series focused on brokenness and what it looks like to lament.
  • HOT DOGS ON THE HILL // TOMORROW, after BASIC // College Hill // Join us outside of Copyworks as BLESS our community with hotdogs and conversations. #eat #serve
  • INTERVARSITY FALL CONFERENCE // THIS weekend! // Email Tate at offenburgert1@gmail.com if you would like the chance to step away from college this weekend to learn more about God and who He says that we are.
  • SUPERHEROS // Lampost Theatre // Enjoy a musical comedy with your friends! See graphic below.
  • SANCTUARY // Thurs, Oct 19 at 8pm // Lang Hall // A place of refuge for YOU to be, listen, and respond.
  • WE NEED YOU // Check out the graphic below for the numerous ways that you can use YOUR gifts to bless the BASIC community and beyond!
  • SEE YOU ON SUNDAY // You are welcome to Nazareth Lutheran Church or Orchard Hill Church for worship on Sundays. More details below. Email basic@uni.edu if you need a ride!

 (Click on any of the graphics below for more details!)

Lamentations alice

 HOT DOGS ON THE HILL Hotdogs on the Hill 2017

Intervarsity Fall Conference2017


Sanctuary 2017 slide

BASIC Teams2017


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We meet on the campus of the University of Northern Iowa in Lang Hall at 8pm when school is in session. Click here for location & directions.


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