The Encounter Movement
“Empowering.” “Uplifting.” “Healing.” “Real.” These are just a few words students have used to describe their experience in the Encounter Movement. As more and more NNU students—past and present—pour into the seats, it is not difficult to see what has drawn them in. Kevin Field, NNU student and Encounter Movement greeter, explained that he chose this ministry because it “challenges me to realize the power God can have in my life. It is very empowering, transforming, and exciting to experience.”
Eagle Nazarene Church formed the young adult service, Encounter Movement, in February 2014. Lead by Jordan Verner, Carly Bartlett (’07), and David Reimer (’11), this ministry encourages young adults to encounter God, connect with believers, and lead the movement in their community and throughout the world. In order to be closer to both Northwest Nazarene University and College of Idaho, the service was moved from Eagle to downtown Nampa in September 2015. Although the service has a new location, Encounter Movement still retains its original goal: “Get Rocked. Get Real. Give It Away.”
Get Rocked. This movement is about being rocked by encountering God and his transforming love. Ways that the ministry accomplishes this goal is through prayer, worship, and hearing God’s word. On Sunday evenings, the Encounter Movement begins with pre-service prayer. After an hour of prayer, people gather for the service which includes powerful worship and passionate sermons.
Get Real. As Carly Bartlett, young women's pastor and associate director of the Encounter Movement, said when referring to Tuesday Night Discipleship, “we gather to encourage, to connect—no matter where you are on your journey.” Encounter Movement is all about relationships; it recognizes the importance of believers gathering to support each other on their spiritual walk. Therefore, the ministry team has implemented various ways to get involved and build relationships, such as fellowship after services, Tuesday Night Discipleship, Encounter Movement Advances, etc.
Give It Away. After experiencing God’s presence, it is time to share His transforming love with the rest of the world. While speaking about biblical leaders during a sermon, Jordan Verner, Encounter Movement ministry director, stressed “that is the Encounter Movement—you out there being like Jesus!” The joy that is found here cannot be contained—it has to be shared.
Community outreaches and leadership opportunities allow members ways to share their faith aside from their everyday interactions. In addition to the local outreach, Encounter Movement is organizing a mission trip to Colombia and Ecuador. As he encouraged young adults to get involved and lead the movement with confidence, Verner reminded the congregation that “it’s never about our ability. It’s about our availability.”
Encounter Movement is just one of the active, church-led services and ministry opportunities available to NNU students close to campus. Like Encounter, many are led by NNU students and alums who are anxious to put their faith and education to work as transformative agents in the world.
The Encounter Movement meets Sunday evenings at 6 p.m. They are currently meeting at Real Life Community Church in Nampa.