Written by: Liam Watts
Fast cars, parties, and VIP Suites. These might not be the first things you think of when imagining ministry or business internships, but every semester, the OKWU School of Ministry and Christian Thought teams up with the OKWU Chesapeake Energy School of Business to spend a few days at NASCAR at the Texas Motor Speedways. Here, the ministry department has the opportunity to serve guests, help with weddings, and present the gospel. Likewise, the business school gets to intern in the sales department and help as suite workers, where they are often the first person that someone sees when they arrive. This event gives them the opportunity to set an attitude of service which often leads to conversations about the gospel!
Andrew Bevis, a Sports Marketing major in the school of business, told me that “NASCAR is a life changing experience. It’s a great opportunity to do Christian ministry off campus in the real world.” At this time, Bevis has gone to NASCAR every semester since he’s been at OKWU and hopes to be the first student to go eight times.
Reed Garland, one of our staff members for student development, told me a little bit more about the ministry side. About twenty-five years ago, a group called Raceway Ministries started helping out at this event. Back then, they would help provide golf cart rides for people who otherwise would have had trouble traveling around. Over the years, this has expanded and now they help serve breakfast, provide food for the staff, and even host a service on Sunday nights that includes a message and worship. OKWU students get to help be involved in all of these activities, and they also have the opportunity to pray with people in need.
Of course, NASCAR is not limited to only students in the school of ministry or business. If you’re interested in serving during a future semester, make sure to reach out to Dr. Weaver or Reed Garland. NASCAR is a great way to experience authentic ministry and acquire some real-world work experience. Who knows, maybe you’ll be the next student to go eight times in a row!