New campus group looking to give a spark

By Jared Shuff
Staff writer

When looking at the number of students who attended church regularly throughout their youth, many studies estimate nearly 70 percent of those students leave the church once they hit college.

This could be due to a change in ideology, a chance for rebellion, or the simple lack of time and energy.

It could also be the fact that many students are now on their own, and don’t have a connection with any of the local churches. One student at Hutchinson Community College had made it her goal to create an open environment for people to worship and discuss the Bible.

Genesis Schmutz, freshman at HutchCC, works as an intern for Spark United, a church that consists of multiple small locations rather than one big building.

“It’s a network of house churches, and I’m in charge of starting a house church here at HutchCC,” Schmutz said.

She became involved with Spark United through her friendship with the lead pastor.

“I loved the concept,” Schmutz said. “It was less structured than normal. It’s all about the church meeting the people rather than people meeting the church.”

Schmutz describes the small group that meets on campus as a church of its own. A normal service consists of worship, a bible study, and then a discussion about what the story means in everyday life.

“People bring instruments, we sing a few songs, and we talk about Jesus,” Schmutz said. “It’s very discussion oriented.”

Her main goal for the house church is to share the love of Jesus. It’s a place to make friends and ask one another hard questions.

Attendance for the church is usually a hit-or-miss.

“It’s crazy, we have a really varied amount of people,” Schmutz said. “It can be anywhere from two to 13.”

When asked what she would say to anyone considering coming, but may not be sure about it, she had a simple and sweet answer.

“Just do it. It’s a great place to build community and make friends,” Schmutz said. “It’s also cool to listen to music. Sometimes I tell people we’re ‘jammin with Jesus’.”

Services take place on Thursday nights at 7 p.m. in the basement of Parker Student Union.

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