Every Thursday morning before the sun rises at 7am a special group of guys meet in the student center to read and memorize God’s Word. It is a committed group of male student-athletes who want to change cultural stereotypes about manhood. These athletes wake up early to invest in each other’s lives and ultimately build their faith. This group, known as the “Sunrise Slayers,” is dedicated to growing in the Lord’s promises and holding each other accountable before their days are filled with class, practice, weights, studying and the fast moving hustle of a college campus.
Sunrise Slayers is happening on our campus, as well as Messiah College in Pennsylvania. Led by Aroma Director Aaron Faro, the sunrise slayers at Messiah has led the way for Lipscomb male student-athletes to also participate. Being able to read the Bible freely, have meaningful conversation, and truly care about the souls of the men around you is what makes slayers so special. It gives a greater meaning and purpose to waking up early and diving into God’s Word. It is an environment filled with love and the guys truly enjoy seeing each other, so they continue making slayers a priority and look forward to building deep and lasting relationships.
The time is centered on memorizing Scripture. Each passage is studied for approximately 3 weeks. In that time, the passage of Scripture is researched, discussed, studied and memorized. Upon completion of the 3 week cycle, the verse is written on an index card from memory and then laminated and put on a ring, which is then displayed on the zipper of the guys backpacks. This is a fun symbol and a unique way to show growth in the knowledge of Scripture, and to remind the slayers they are armed with the Word of God at all times.
Each slayer has a different reason as to why they keep coming back, and why they enjoy coming early in the morning to study the Bible.
Freshman golfer Isaac Noh, said this about being a sunrise slayer;
“It has emphasized the importance of not only just memorizing scripture, but knowing what it means and how to apply it to your own life. And what greater motive is there to have the word of God written on your heart.”
Junior track and cross-country runner Ryan Speer said this about his experience,
“Slayers means an opportunity for me to start my Thursday’s off well. The community and fellowship is always welcoming and I love being able to spend time in the word with a great group of men. College is definitely a time of growth and change. I think the biggest thing God is teaching me is to trust him more and reminding me that his plan is sufficient for me. Having a stable group of guys to be open and honest with has definitely been the most beneficial part of slayers to my spiritual life.”
Junior Robert Rupp on the men’s cross-country and track team said,
“Slayers has been a crucial part of me developing my understanding of what scripture is, as well that it is the word of God, and that we can know him through deep intimate study of it. The Word of God when studied in a group allows for the community to see God and understand God through each other which is always exciting.”
This Bible study every Thursday is another way for Lipscomb student-athletes to get involved in something other than what their team is already doing. It gives them a chance to branch out and meet other athletes on different teams and also gives them a chance to share their faith together and build a unified brotherhood.
The beauty of slayers is the fact that there are college-aged young men willing and dedicated to waking up early to read the word of God and grow in fellowship with other men. It isn’t mandatory, yet these guys keep showing up. It is not a common time to meet but to be a slayer all you need to do is show up and be ready to learn from Jesus.