One of the most significant lessons of my staff career came at an unexpected and, in hindsight, embarrassing moment. But because of what InterVarsity believes and how we apply it, it led to one of the sweetest moments any staff worker can experience.
Being mentored is a critical experience for aspiring leaders. Mentoring is not the same as discipling, pastoring, coaching, or counseling, although elements of each might be part of a mentoring relationship. According to Robert Clinton, a professor of leadership, mentoring is a relational experience in which one person empowers another by sharing God-given resources. The focus in these relationships is on increased capacity generated by the resources and the relationship shared.
My son just turned 26, and I often wonder if he sees me. He’ll stop by for a visit and a nice conversation precipitated by my non-intrusive questions. Then as he is leaving, I say with a tinge of sarcasm, “So how was your week, Dad?” He’ll glance up sheepishly, “Oh right… how was your week Dad?” I know he has to go, so I laugh and say, “Next time.” I’m just trying to remind him that I am an actual person too, not just his “parental unit.” In a similar way, it is easy for students to see faculty as figures rather than full-orbed human beings.
Have we just left the ‘good ol’ days’? You know, the days we will look back on and realize how relatively stress-free it was to be a Christian on campus, when the only things standing in the way to speak freely about our faith were our own fear of rejection and sense of inadequacy.
Musical worship is a fixture in Christian culture. Many of us sing worship songs multiple times a week. We have hundreds, if not thousands of worship songs accessible to us through our phones, YouTube and Pandora. We go to worship nights, worship concerts, worship jam sessions. Musical worship is all around us. But is it changing us for the better?
I didn’t know what to expect when I signed up for the Origins track at our summer InterVarsity camp. I wanted to study and understand more about the Old Testament, but encountering the living God caught me by surprise.
I’ve always been drawn to the seemingly magical opportunities afforded by technology. Some of my earliest and happiest memories were watching my dad play Space Invaders on an Atari console and exploring the capabilities of MS-DOS on the family’s first home computer. I will forever remember the sound of the dial-up modem connecting us to the world. More than twenty years later I still exchange Christmas cards with the first friend I ever made online.
When my three year old has an imaginary friend, it’s cute, even encouraged. But when adult Christians live out their faith as though Jesus was just an invisible, childhood fantasy, it’s disturbing. Unfortunately, there’s an element of the “imaginary Jesus” in each of us who walk in faith.
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.