By Sarah Parris // Marketing & Communication // 2.25.19
“Our vision with Render, to put it simply, is to create community,” said Lindsey Jester, co-founder of Render. “We want to see community amongst all of our girls no matter their age, major or life story because deep down we all have the desire to belong.”
Render is the women’s ministry on campus that meets one Monday night a month. The ministry kicked off on the first day of the fall 2018 semester. Founded by Jester and Sarah Parris, the vision of the ministry is to create a community of women who can be discipled, learn to disciple and worship together. The ministry is open to all women, including students and faculty/staff at CSU. The sessions include fellowship, worship and a message from a guest speaker. Beyond the monthly meeting, Render allows women to get involved in community service projects as well as a discipleship program.
“Render came about really unexpectedly and much more abruptly than I thought it would. It was almost as if one day my co-partner, Sarah, and I were dreaming up ideas, and the next day it had all come together. That’s how I knew this ministry was something God was calling us to bring to this campus,” said Jester, a sophomore communication major.
At the core of the ministry is the discipleship program that pairs women with older mentors that meet with them weekly to walk through life and the Bible together. “God has created within each of us a deep desire for intimacy, and we know that desire is fully met first in Him, and then through communion with our brothers and sisters in Christ. So far Render has been, and I believe will continue to be, a ministry blessed by the presence of God,” said Brittany Gordon, assistant campus minister.
The entire ministry is run by student leaders, including the community service projects, worship sets and discipleship program. “Being the worship leader for Render is one of the sweetest things because I get to hear women worship and surrender to the Lord whatever they might be facing that month,” said Erica Hughes, a sophomore music and worship leadership major. “One of my favorite quotes is ‘empowered women empower women.’ Render is a group of women who have been divinely empowered by our Lord, and we get to come together and empower each other to keep pushing through,” she said.
The speaker changes each month and has included student leaders, professors, faculty, alumni and women from the community. A few of the community service projects Render has done are volunteering in a food bank, baking cookies for the CSU dining hall staff and running a clothing drive. All branches of the ministry serve the common goal of connecting women and building a godly and encouraging fellowship on campus.
The women being discipled and discipling others range from freshmen to faculty and staff. Discipleship is such an integral part of the ministry because the founders realized how neglected those relationships are in many churches and organizations. Holland McKoy, a freshman graphic design major, said, “The women at Render didn’t just talk about pretty Bible verses and pat me on the head. They came at me with hard truths that led me to my knees in repentance and prayer. Worship and discipleship through Render often made me feel horrible about myself. But in doing so it allowed me to begin to see past my failures to the beauty and perfection of my Savior.”
The leaders of Render recognize the power and joy that can come from healthy and godly relationships between women and how that is lacking in modern culture. The monthly meetings are a safe place to put aside comparison and insecurity and simply worship and encourage one another.
“Render serves as a constant reminder to these ladies that we are powerful daughters of the King, and now we have a family to walk into battle with,” said Hughes.
The next meeting for Render will be on Monday, Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. in the Gold Room. Any and all women are welcome and will be greeted with a family full of love and encouragement.