Tailgating for growth in faith and friendship

Hunter Ellis, Reporter

Marshall University’s Young Life strives to introduce adolescents to Jesus Christ and help them grow in their faith. One way the Young Life group tries to accomplish this is by tailgating before home football games.

Brad Bucklad, area director for Young Life in Huntington, said he wants students to have a friend in Young Life leaders who will help and support them.

“We want them to have deeper, richer friendships with each other, and hope they will begin a relationship with Jesus,” Bucklad said.   

Young Life often has a tailgate on football game days in the west lot, space number 184, where Bucklad said there is “food and more food.”

“It is clearly an event everyone is excited about,” Bucklad said “For us, it was a great way to serve our friends and hopefully make new ones.”

Bucklad said the space is usually crowded with as many as 40-50 people in attendance. Sometimes, he said, they toss around a football, but it can become too crowded for anything other than eating and talking.

“The tailgate isn’t about making a display of faith, but rather giving them an opportunity to deepen friendships in a good way around an event that everyone already wants to be a part of,” Bucklad said.

Young Life meets every Tuesday in Harris Hall, Room 134. Each week is different, with music, trivia, games and more.

“My favorite thing here is that it’s hard to know a stranger,” Claire Joswick, junior sociology major and Young Life college leader, said. “I will try to find something in common with everyone. It’s our goal to love people well.”

At the end of every meeting, one of the leaders will give a talk based from the Bible about who God is, what their purpose is and what relationship God can hold for students.

“We encourage everyone to come, someone who has maybe never even heard of Jesus; we want them to feel comfortable here,” Joswick said. “I would want a room full of people who have never heard about Jesus just as much as a room full of people who have went to church their whole lives.”

Hunter Ellis can be contacted at [email protected].