Greg Mohr, the director of Charis Bible College, sat down with Eileen Quinn, a content assistant in the AWM Publications Department, to discuss Charis’s Open Days events.
Eileen Quinn: Hi, Pastor Greg. I’d like to thank you for giving us your time for this interview.
Greg Mohr: Oh, you’re welcome, Eileen. I’m happy to do it.
EQ: This blog will be seen by many of whom have not yet become students. We would like to tell them why this event is unique. Can you speak to that?
GM: Well, the unique thing to Open Days is that guests get to meet and learn about several of our key instructors, adjunct instructors, and staff here at Charis. We are trying to give the participants a view into what a day at Charis looks like or what they can expect from different instructors—as well as from Andrew. They are already familiar with him, so we want to give them a taste of what they could expect when they come here as students.
EQ: You often hear Andrew and others talk about the “Charis Experience.” What elements of the “Charis Experience” would you say that people experience at Open Days?
GM: What we describe as the “Charis Experience” is exactly what we try to incorporate into Open Days. That would be fellowship with other current and prospective students, awesome worship that brings people into the presence of God, [and] teaching from the Word that comes from both revelation and experience. All of our instructors are experienced in their field. Students will also experience what they take away from this environment—a sense of empowerment to go out and do the things they received while here. So, that would include healing, all types of ministry…that’s unique to Charis. People come and get to know God better, but then they leave empowered to take it and apply it in their world, their business, their ministry, and so on. People experience that from three days of concentrated fellowship, ministry, and worship at Open Days.
EQ: You know, that’s so true! That’s why I came. When Andrew was teaching that year, he taught on the Emmaus road (Luke 24), which is one of my favorite passages of Scripture. I thought I would just come and go back home and do the online program. But while I was here, God made it so clear that I was to relocate and go to school here.
GM: Yes, now some people come and know they are supposed to start school at an extension school near them, start Distance Learning, or that they are—like you—to relocate and come to Charis On-Campus. You know, we only want people to come here who are actually called to come here. That’s why you can take Charis courses many different ways. We want the Holy Spirit to speak to people and for people to hear for themselves what they are supposed to do. Hearing that call as to where you are supposed to be is what will give you what I like to call “finishing power.”
EQ: Is the day structured to make prospective students feel like they are being given an educational tour of the ministry, not just a physical tour?
GM: Yes, first our guests will be greeted with fellowship and refreshments. Then we will have worship, and then each day they will receive powerful teaching from different instructors. And we will have times for people to gather around information tables and ask questions. At that time, instructors will mingle with people and answer their questions. Some of their answers will come from current students who will be present. The focus of Open Days is we want to connect with people where they are, we want to connect people more deeply with their relationship with God, and we want people to know that God has a good plan for their lives. And when they discover that plan, it will—as we like to say here—make their “baby leap,” like the baby leapt in Elizabeth’s womb [Luke 1:41]. This journey through Charis will help students discover that plan that God has for them and then enable them to go out and live that plan that God has for their lives. It often starts with Open Days, where they get the desire to discover that plan.
EQ: Would you say that coming to Open Days puts flesh and bone on the “Charis Experience”?
GM: God can speak to you from your home, while you’re driving, while you’re in your own walk of life about some aspect of His calling, but it’s another thing for you to “walk on the land.” God told Joshua to walk on the land—spy out the land. There’s another dimension of discovery that you get once you’re here, and that will confirm that call on your life.
People come here for a lot of reasons: They want to know God better, they want to develop a deeper relationship with God, or they want to hear God’s voice. People come here to discover their purpose. We want those whom God draws here, who want to be changed and then trained up to change their world. Open Days helps prospective students not decide but discover who they are and God’s plan for their lives.