North Texas Daily

Delight Ministries creates Christian community for women

Delight Ministries creates Christian community for women

Delight Ministries creates Christian community for women
February 21
16:53 2019

With more than 30 spiritual groups on campus, students have options when it comes to finding like-minded individuals who share the same faith. However, a few students still struggling to find a group to connect with decided to bring Delight Ministries to UNT, hoping to provide a place for Christian women to be vulnerable and tell their stories.

Delight Ministries is a nationwide Christian women’s community, which two students started at Belmont University in 2013 and now spreads around over 100 campuses across the country. It was special education junior Sydney Reinacher’s idea to bring the ministry to UNT after her experience with it at Texas State University.

Reinacher said she was surprised to find out UNT was one of the only large Texas schools without the organization on campus. Hoping to change this, she recruited fashion design freshman Madi Huber and dance senior Emma Soard to help start the new chapter.

“So many of us [at Texas State] grew together through it,” Reinacher said. “Whenever I decided to transfer to UNT, I was like, ‘OK, I definitely have to bring this here,’ but I was a little bit nervous to do it on my own. Once Emma, Madi and [the] other girls said they were willing to start it, I felt like this was one of the reasons I came to UNT — just to bring this here because it was such an amazing thing for so many of us at Texas State.”

Huber, who first got involved with Delight through a summer series hosted for her drill team, said the women’s group is unique because it focuses on topics that would not be regularly discussed in some church settings.

“I think it’s important to have a group of girls that you can just rely on,” Huber said. “In a lot of bible studies or other Christian clubs, they don’t really talk about the [difficult] things that we talk about. It’s just a really safe environment for girls to come and just be open.”

Delight Ministries is supposed to be a place on campus where Christian women can tell their stories. Courtesy UNT Delight Ministries.

Meetings focus on readings from the book “Delight Stories + Devotionals,” a collection of stories submitted by college women that covers topics such as self-love, homesickness and relationships. Each submission is paired with scripture, devotionals and reflection questions.

Soard said that using the Delight books allows the group to have better conversations because each reading helps the members connect with the subject matter.

“I think because we have the base of the book, people have a guideline almost, for either a conversation or for vulnerability,” Soard said. “I think that leads you into being OK to talk about other things and having questions about hard topics.”

Besides the books, Delight also offers more contemporary services including its app, which has stories, blog posts, a relationship quiz and a journal feature that can track each user’s readings and guide their note-taking. Soard said she wanted to get involved with planning UNT’s Delight Ministries chapter because, as a transfer student last year, she was unable to find a religious group in Denton that fit her needs.

“I looked into a lot of [ministries],” Soard said. “I visited a ton of churches around the area and either they don’t have a college group, it just wasn’t what I was looking for or I felt like maybe there was a bit of difference in the teaching. I think Delight was what was needed on this campus for a lot of those situations.”

The members said what makes Delight different than other ministries is the conversational format of each meeting. To them, Delight seems more like a community than other ministries do because they do not have typical sermon lectures.

“As leaders, we aren’t up there teaching,” Reinacher said. “It’s more like we are a part of the conversation, which I think is different. I think in most ministries you have a leader who’s up there and they’re teaching and explaining. [With Delight, leaders are] sitting around and we’re discussing the stories just as much as everyone else is.”

Members said another notable difference is their ability to be vulnerable with each other because the organization consists of all women. Although anyone is allowed to join, the group is geared specifically for women because of the book’s focus. Soard said some topics are “just easier to talk about in a group setting when it is one gender.”

“Every girl has been so vulnerable and ready to open up,” Huber said. “It’s kind of crazy because we don’t really know these girls that much yet, but they’re so ready to open up about personal lives and their relationships with God.”

Along with group discussions, Delight’s leaders also have to plan socials, worship nights and community service events.

“One of the challenges was how [to] make this something that people really want to come back to every week,” Soard said. “Yes, Delight has [guidelines] with what you’re supposed to do, but we as leaders have an influence on what the girls here [think] as far as their idea of Delight.”

Leaders said seeing other members who want to grow in their faith inspires them to reach more people and be a sustainable group on campus.

“I hope the girls who are maybe unsure but are seeking [to grow in faith], like I was, come to Delight,” Reinacher said. “[I hope] they see other girls and they just find a community where they can be themselves and share all of these experiences within a really non-judgmental setting.”

Delight Ministries meets every Thursday in Union 382.

Featured Image: Special education junior Sydney Reinacher and dance senior Emma Soard read volume one of Delight’s book series together. Image by: Meredith Holser.

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Talia Snow

Talia Snow

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