At least, any vision sufficient to drive us to prayer, propel us to action and sustain us in discouragement does. It arises from the dissonance between current reality and God’s intention. It becomes purified when we intentionally immerse the world’s brokenness, rebellion and pain in the crucible of prayer. And, as our vision takes shape, it defines what we hope to accomplish and how we hope to accomplish it.
Each day we get up, get dressed and bet our life on something. I’m not talking about the dangers of traffic or the structural integrity of bridges. I’m talking about the stories, beliefs or worldviews that each of us carries around in our hearts and minds. We each have an internal story that drives the decisions we make and the way we live.
It is spring and it’s the season when many InterVarsity chapters are selecting new leaders for the next academic year. You might be one of those students that has been asked to serve as a core leader for your chapter. It’s possible that you are looking forward to that role with great enthusiasm and eagerness. On the other hand, perhaps you are unsure and wondering how you were selected. Regardless of how you feel about being a core leader for your chapter, the kind of leader you are is essential.
Do you pray for your campus? I’ll bet many of you do. Prayer meetings have been a hallmark of InterVarsity chapters from the earliest days (that would be the 1940s!) and some fellowships still hold daily prayer meetings like those “ancients”. But when you pray for your campus, what do you ask for? I’m sure you pray that many students would turn to God and embrace his love. Naturally, you pray for friends who are going through rough times. Perhaps you pray for things like more racial harmony or less alcohol abuse. Maybe you even pray for your football team to win.
In the chapter planting handbook, Start Something New, there is an exercise that leads the readers to map their relationships. I am convinced that one of the most essential and simple skills a Christian can develop is to chart their relational networks. Here are some reasons why.
After I had been on staff several years, InterVarsity on the West Coast hired the first female area director. Several of my colleagues in New York/New Jersey went to our regional director and asked him to consider now appointing me, as a woman, to the area director role. I was very encouraged and grateful for this affirmation from my community. This opportunity gave me the chance to develop my gifts as a leader so that I was later made the first female regional director within the organization.
“These students and IV staff humble me because of their love for Christ and their energy and excitement to reach others. They are busy doing his work daily in a challenging time. And they are truly amazing.”—An InterVarsity Faculty Advisor
In my previous post, Student Leadership: Agony or Ecstasy? (Part 1), I addressed the importance of a student leadership team that has high kingdom potential. Another essential component to reinforce during the leadership selection process is clearly defining and ensuring agreement with InterVarsity’s mission and beliefs.
One of the most profound privileges for me in leadership has been to serve on and lead leadership teams where the net effect of our leadership was far greater than the sum of our parts. Unfortunately, though, I have also served on teams that were traumatic from start to finish. On the traumatic side, one of the most memorable was a team where the other leaders were mainly out to advance their own priorities and agendas regardless of what it did to the overall effectiveness of our teamwork. Too many of our meetings were exercises where dueling egos dominated our discussions.
The blog is an avenue for staff and student leaders to hear from the visionary leaders of Collegiate Ministries about theological formation, discipleship, chapter planting, chapter growth, and other key ministry themes for campus work.