Bulldog Believers: The Salt and Light at Oak Hills
"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden." Matthew 5:14
September 5, 2016
Many students have been going through the motions as they get back into their school routine. They get up, maybe eat some breakfast, then leave for school to visit the same classes, the same students, and the same teachers every day. But sometimes this routine becomes tiresome and can leave many feeling a bit lost as to where their life is going. One club here on campus, the Bulldog Believers, aims to answer some of life’s most difficult questions. Although this club is considered a Christian Club, everyone is invited to sit in and get curious about the world around them.
Bulldog Believers, which meets every week on Tuesday at lunch in room C-11, welcomes all students and staff to join them as they discuss some of life’s most profound ideas.
“I think it’s vitally important because life is hard. The human experience is complicated, and there’s lots of ways to destroy yourself and others around you. So the Bulldog Believers is important because the thesis of the club is that there are answers to the human problem,” said club advisor Bill Fleming.
Bulldog Believers tries to help students tackle real life problems while also delving into the word of God. Sometimes life will throw obstacles in our paths, but how we react and overcome them is how we define ourselves. Students who join the club know that while school can help you understand physical aspects of the world, there needs to be something more to explain the unseen.
“The school exists to provide answers in life in math and science and history, and Bulldog Believers deals with an area of life that the school doesn’t address,” said Mr. Fleming.
Not only does the club strive to help answer students’ questions, it also provides a place where fellow believers can come together and meet each other. It is important to find people who can relate to you and discuss beliefs that are similar to your own.
“It’s a great opportunity to actually socialize with other Christians because I feel like that’s important at this age when people are actually figuring out what they believe,” said senior Andrea Hill.
In Bulldog Believers, anyone is welcome to come and get a feel for the things the club often discusses.
“The club is nondenominational, so even though we stand for basic Christian doctrines that we believe what the Bible says, anyone is welcome. Whether you’re a Baptist or even an atheist it doesn’t matter. We respect what you believe in,” said senior club president John Weigle.
When you join the students in Bulldog Believers, expect a warm welcome and an open atmosphere. As senior vice-president Amos Chute says, “I think it’s a great opportunity to just get together and meet new people.” Along with delving into the word of God, club members get to sit back, relax, and enjoy hearing a message about the Bible.
“I think this club is important because not only does it give you the chance to meet new people, but it also gives people a chance to grow a relationship with God and learn some things that they didn’t know about him before or at all,” said Amos.
The variety of students and the messages given within the club is truly amazing. As students come in and find a seat, they get to socialize and feel comfortable around new people. One particularly generous family has been donating food every week specifically for the club members, so the food is always a plus. After the food has been handed out and everyone is seated, the worship team begins to sing and play a song of praise to God. The students are encouraged to join in the song. After this a prayer is said and either John or a guest speaker will begins their message. There is something unique about this club. There are no cliques. There is no judgement. It’s an open space where people are free to be themselves.
“It’s different from every other club. I treat this club not as a regular club. It’s a club that’s quite different. What I mean is that this is not my club even though I’m the president, this is a ministry from God,” said John.
John believes that a club like this is needed on our campus. He does not wish to force students to convert to Christianity. To John, “the purpose of the club is to be that light of the world just like how Jesus called us to be the salt and the light.” He wants students to know the truth in which he strongly believes: that Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sins of every human being on earth, and that Jesus is the only way to have a relationship with God in heaven.
“I care for the people who come and that they hear the truth and that they understand it to a point that they can reflect upon their lives,” said John.
Being president of the club just because it looks good on college applications is not what matters to John or any of the club’s officers. They focus on growing their relationships with the club members. It’s not about the benefits. Much time goes into preparing lessons so that they are relatable and interesting for the typical high school student. When teaching, John and other speakers aim to portray the meaning of the Bible while also applying it to modern day life.
“I try to accentuate what the Bible says and basically try to figure out what the text means…and also how it affects us today,” said John.
Oftentimes, John will invite guest speakers who will give a special message or share their testimony. The important thing is that students who join the club will never grow tired because there is always a chance to learn something new at every meeting.
“It makes my day worthwhile to see young people who are lost in life come and find direction,” said Mr. Fleming.
The people who are a part of Bulldog Believers encourage you to be curious and ask questions. There is hope in this world full of fear and frustration, and John believes that you can find hope here in Bulldog Believers. Your future may not be clear now, but have no fear, for you certainly have one.
There is a whole community of Christians on campus, and maybe you haven’t noticed them, but they are there. Ask around and don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone to join John and many others for a Bulldog Believers meeting. You have nothing to lose, and who knows, maybe you will find some answers to questions you’ve been dying to figure out. Just know that you are welcome anytime.
“I want them to walk away knowing that there is a God in heaven who loves them whether they accept or not into their life that’s between them and God, but that they may walk away knowing the basic doctrines of love,” said John.