Inside The Salt Company
For more than 40 years, The Salt Company has been flourishing at Iowa State and in the Ames community, and according to women’s ministry leader Kaylee Hunting, there are only good things to come.
One of the things Salt does on a weekly basis is gather on Thursday evenings.
“We meet in Cornerstone Church, which is an auditorium that holds 1,793 people, which is crazy," Hunting said. "So, on a Thursday night it’s like a big celebration and that’s a big part of our ministry. There’s worship music and I tell students it’s the coolest worship experience of your life, and then that is followed by teachings from the Bible,” Hunting said.
The weekly gatherings can seem a little large, so for those seeking a more personal setting for worship and Bible discussion, Salt offers connection groups.
“Those [connection groups] meet all over Ames, all over Iowa State’s campus," Hunting said. "Usually if someone is interested in getting involved in one, you can find one within a walking distance."
Other than Thursday gatherings and connection groups, Salt has other events to connect its members. There are three different retreats throughout the year. There is a freshman retreat, which brings together freshman students in order to become better acquainted with other members of Salt in their community and age group.
A retreat is held in the fall in Hidden Acres in Dayton, Iowa, that combines several connection groups for a weekend full of outdoor activities and messages shared through Bible discussions. Salt also organizes an event held later in the year in the spring where Salt companies from all over Iowa join at a conference in Des Moines.
A unique aspect of Salt is the company’s acceptance and openness to people of all backgrounds and denominations. All people are more than welcome to attend Salt gatherings and to sign up for retreats.
“It’s a diverse group of people who want to follow Jesus or some people who don’t claim to be Christian are still welcome to come,” Hunting said. “I think the reason people are attracted to Salt Company is not because it’s big, but because it unashamedly teaches from the Bible about Jesus. That message is what is attractive to people, and everybody who is in that room is a broken person.”
The Salt Company stays true to the idea that all are welcome. There are student leaders in Salt who support exchange students interested in building a closer connection to Jesus and the teachings of the Bible, through a program called The International Friendship Connection, or IFC.
Salt is a non-denominational company. Although this is a prideful quality of Salt, it may be difficult to comprehend for some members.
“For some people, because it is a non-denominational, there can be some confusion like “what do you mean ...?” Hunting said. "In the fall, spring and summer we teach a class called 'Theology of the Gospel.' We go through the Gospel, and the main goal of the class is to help students know and articulate the Gospel more clearly.”
The Salt Company has a staff of about 20 executive members, but it also relies on student leaders to accomplish all it does.
“Our student leaders are awesome," Hunting said. "They love serving the campus and Ames and loving all the people around them."
With all of the success and support from Iowa State’s campus, and Ames, Salt is eager to continue expanding in the years to come.
“We had close to 1,900 people at our kickoff," Hunting said. "Our goal is to keep teaching the Bible. Another big goal with Salt Company and Cornerstone Church is we want to plant a church in the major universities in the Midwest. I forget the exact number but within the next five years we want to plant about 20 churches in our network.
The Salt Company has no intentions of slowing its growth out of the love for its mission of connecting Christians and those wanting to get involved.
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