For three years, Classic Worship
at Southeast’s Elizabethtown Campus has met nearly every Wednesday afternoon for a time of fellowship, food, Bible study, and the singing of classic hymns. Many in this senior adult group were instrumental in helping launch the campus in 2017 and have continued to be a backbone of prayer, encouragement, and service.
A new engagement opportunity involves pairing members of the group with recent graduates who have moved away from the Elizabethtown area. Student Pastor Reid Milliken brought up the idea of Classic Worship members reaching out to the grads and sending them regular letters of encouragement through good, old-fashioned “snail mail.”
Classic Worship leader Murrill Kizer immediately loved the idea. He knows firsthand how helpful such letters can be for young adults venturing away from home for the first time.
“In 1966, I had just graduated from high school and was active in Sunday School, choir, and the youth group at my Baptist church,” he said. “I enrolled at the University of Kentucky's Elizabethtown Community College, signed up for 18 hours, and quickly felt overwhelmed.”
That feeling led Murrill to becoming disconnected to his church, not because of partying on the weekend, but because of being too busy.
“The assistant principal of my high school, who also attended this Baptist church, began mailing notes to me, urging me to get back to being active in the church,” he said. “He insisted that my college career, my Christian influence on others, and my days would get better by doing so.
“His correspondence with me, a young person and recent high school graduate, encouraged me and got me headed back in the right direction. And, praise God, all those things did start getting better. Thank you, Lord, for adults who care about our young folks, who need Christian encouragement!”
Since my youth, God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come.
A simple note from a loving adult reminding them of God’s love and their identity in Christ can make all the difference in a student’s life. In the midst of so much change as high school grads begin college, having someone praying for them back at home means so much.
Chris Height, now a student at Ozark Christian College who spent several Wednesday afternoons with Classic Worship as an intern last Summer, is thankful for the group’s prayers and uplifting words.
“I love Classic Worship and their spirit towards everyone,” he said.
When Chris returned home for break this past Winter, the couple who wrote him greeted him with a big hug.
Abby Rich, who attends Georgetown College, said she was surprised when she opened her mailbox to find a note.
“At first, I was confused because I did not recognize the name. After opening and reading (the note), I had a big smile on my face,” she said.
“Southeast has always been home to me and helped me get out of some of the hard things life has thrown me. This program is a great idea to reach out to college students that have moved away and to give them a sense of home.”
Serving and loving people is often much simpler than we make it out to be. In every stage of life, we need connection—and encouragement. If we’re willing, God will use our journeys and experiences—both good and bad—to connect with and encourage the next generation.