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When Griffith Brown ’17 realized res­ident assis­tants needed a place to encourage one another, he reached out to fellow Simpson RA Eli West ’17. Brown soon learned that West shared his con­cerns.

Three years ago, the two began Front­lines, a min­istry for RAs and any other dorm res­ident who has a heart for other stu­dents in dorms. Today, about 15 people attend Front­lines every week.

“Doing min­istry in the dorm context is a super great field, but it can be exhausting,” Brown said. “Eli and I felt that very intensely. We ran­domly reached out out to each other and realized that we had both been thinking and praying about that.”

Brown said very little support existed for Bible studies across campus, and he wanted Front­lines to be a place to help fellow leaders and provide account­ability.

Brown, who works for Inter­Varsity Christian Fel­lowship, now serves as an advisor to the study, which is led by senior Emily Barnum and sopho­mores Michelle Reid and Jadon Lip­pincott.

A former Olds RA who is now the head RA in Mauck, Barnum shared many of Brown’s con­cerns.

“It can be tiring and lonesome to lead a study without encour­agement and account­ability,” she said. “Front­lines has great people with the same goal in the dorm context, and I always walk away feeling really encouraged.”

She said the group is focused on scripture and prayer, with time for one-on-one dis­cussion. This semester, the group has been dis­cussing the Gospels and Jesus’ rela­tionship with his dis­ciples.

Barnum said Front­lines has helped her in pro­viding a space for her to reflect, and impacted how she relates to others. She said she also feels less exhausted in loving others.

Reid got to know Barnum as a res­ident of Olds last year, where she is cur­rently an RA and leads a Bible study. She said taking on a lead­ership role has been both ful­filling and exhausting.

“It’s good to be in a com­munity and under­stand what God is doing on campus,” Reid said. “Any chance to have people who are older speak wisdom into your life is invaluable.”

She said Front­lines allows her to ask fellow leaders about ideas for her dorm.

Front­lines meetings also emphasize estab­lishing new dorm min­istry oppor­tu­nities. Brown said he and others who attend helped start a prayer group in Whitley, and have been praying about the new dor­mitory, which will have room for 56 stu­dents beginning in the next school year.

“We’ll ask, ‘What can we do to think and pray and be inten­tional about this new dorm?’” Brown said. “Or we’ll notice Chris­tians doing Bible studies and not reaching out to non-Chris­tians and ask, ‘How can we encourage this?’”

Front­lines meets every Monday at 5:00 p.m. in the Formal Lounge. The leaders encouraged anyone who feels a passion for dorm min­istry to visit.

“We’ve expe­ri­enced how tough it is, and we realized couldn’t do it by our­selves,” Brown said. “We want to be a resource for people who also couldn’t do it by them­selves to be encouraged and sup­ported.”

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