SALT brings program closer to home

Salt (Dawson Stephens (left), Courtney Savage (right), Gloria (middle)

Southern Adventist University’s Soul-winning and Leadership Training (SALT) program is expanding outside of its usual agenda to reach out to Southern students, according to senior religious studies major and SALT leader Noah Banks.

“SALT is a Bible-working program where you’re taught how to share your faith…in local communities or even across the world,” Banks said. “They really wanted to reach deep into the campus and give people the opportunity…to learn more about who God is.”

According to Banks, SALT has previously focused solely on sending students door-to-door throughout the Chattanooga area to offer Bible studies. This semester, SALT  students also will be organizing an evangelistic prayer week for students in October.

According to Banks, another change to SALT’s program will be leading LifeGroups and offering Bible studies to students on campus as part of an “in-reach” initiative.

“While they’re out in the community, they’re going to be reaching into the campus and giving Bible studies to people that are questioning, that need help and would like to learn more about their own faith,” he said.

Freshman psychology major Justin Mertz is looking forward to leading his LifeGroup. 

“I want to use what God has given me to reach others at Southern,” he said. “I know [there are] kids here who want that, who are hungry for it, who have a calling for it.”

According to Banks, SALT aims to provide students with a variety of evangelistic methods.

“Now, they get to learn how to reach out to people on multiple different platforms,” he said.

Banks said that the COVID-19 pandemic has not affected SALT’s outreach apart from wearing masks and practicing social distancing. He believes the pandemic is a blessing in disguise. 

“In a way, it’s kind of made us come together more,” he said. “We’re all so happy to be here. Since all of us are willing to come here in the pandemic, we all know that we all want it. This is our priority.”

To students considering joining SALT, Banks said, “Even with the fear of a pandemic or a fear of natural disasters or racism or riots or whatever fear it may be, you have to believe that your faith is stronger, that God is bigger than anything possible…If you think you know your faith, join SALT and test it.”

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