Trevecca Nazarene University

I Am Second sweeps across campus, athletes and non-athletes come together

(This article was published in the January 2014 issue of TrevEchoes - written by Holland Clement.)

Over the past two years, the I Am Second movement has integrated into Trevecca. The movement focuses on putting Christ and others first. By adopting this principle, students on Trevecca’s campus are rising up together and becoming spiritual leaders.

“I Am Second allows you to see and hear about other people’s troubles,” Matthew Raines, senior, said. “Seeing other Christians give their testimonies and talking about their struggles gave me courage to talk about my own struggles. It’s so much easier to minister to people now.”

The movement began in Texas. It is now spreading and has branches in Dallas, Kansas City, Tri-State-Evansville and Nashville.

Through the videos of real life people, athletes, actors, musicians and business leaders, among others, sharing their testimonies, I Am Second has given courage to countless people to live shamelessly for God.

On Trevecca’s campus, the I Am Second mindset continues to grow. It has also brought athletes and non-athletes together as they share a common interest.

“The students have kind of taken it over. Not only have they taken it over here, but they have also gone home and talked about it,” Jared White, head athletic trainer at Trevecca and faculty sponsor for I Am Second. “I have had people’s parents call me, email me, come into my office and say ‘thank you for I Am Second.’”

Several students had the opportunity to present their stories and talk about what I Am Second had done for them to the Board of Trustees last fall.                     “It’s gotten a lot easier to get people to talk about I Am Second. Previously I didn’t want to approach people about my faith, but it’s becoming a lot easier. When I talk to people about I Am Second, it’s so much easier to talk about my life and problems and then integrate how adopting the “Live Second” mindset can help,” senior Aubrey Black said.

I Am Second is an organic way for students to understand what a relationship with Christ looks like. There will be struggles and difficulties.

“A fear across campus is that students cannot talk about real problems without someone ratting on them. What we’re trying to do is say, ‘hey, everyone has problems, and we’re not focusing on them, but instead we’re going to focus on the deep hole in your soul that needs to be filled with Christ. If you take care of that, everything else will fall into place,’” White said.

I Am Second attempts to show that through a relationship with Christ your life and desires will begin to change. In doing this, Christianity will not be seen as a set of rules and regulations, but instead as a lifestyle to please Christ. 

A common similarity between many students is that they express their appreciation for how relatable and applicable I Am Second is.

I Am Second meetings consist of individuals listening to each other, encouraging each other. Students involved are able to share their struggles and hardships without fear of judgment.

“I struggle with things. My friends struggle with things,” Raines said. “We’re becoming much more comfortable with talking about those issues among ourselves as we realize that more times than not we’re going through the same things.”