This past week I met with a national staff team of InterVarsity “outreach champions” from across the country. It’s one of my favorite meetings of the year both because I get to connect with brilliant, funny and deep colleagues, but also because we have fun together over delicious meals or going out to see a movie. This time we went and saw the Matt Damon movie- “The Informant!” hil-arious! I love a good dark comedy.
The fun part about this team is that these people dream BIG. They have incredible ideas about how to help shape the faith of college students across the country & invite people to think about Jesus in new ways. At one point during a discussion of N.T. Wrights book Justification and John Piper’s Book The Future of Justification a team mate named Ashley who works at Columbia University in New York leaned over and whispered to me “I’d love to do an outreach called “What the Hell?” and have a forum to have people from different faith backgrounds share their perspectives on hell and stimulate discussion on this topic. Doesn’t that sound cool? It’s energizing being in the same room with people who have a common vision and passion for engaging college students on their perspectives of what faith looks like put into action. I always feel such purpose and inspiration after champions meetings because we’ve been talking about important ideas and plans that shape our whole movement of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.
As we were getting ready to fly home, a bunch of our team members hung out in the Great Dane pub in the airport. I asked a few of them what their highlights of the meetings were and they responded with similar sentiments. A team mate named Terry from Minnesota said “you feel like you put on a pair of old jeans with this team- you don’t have to have an agenda, protect yourself, to get everyone going one direction. There’s healthy relationships and building one another up. There is confidence and rejoicing, not pride and arrogance.”
Another team mate named Greg from Rhode Island said “I like the clarity that God is giving us- there is real insight into what he’s doing and what the next steps might look like to help move our organization forward. There’s energy in the room, everyone clearly wants to learn together & be a learning community. People jump right in. There are a lot of brilliant and important thoughts that fly around the room- it’s like you need a butterfly net to catch them all.”
I had a friend once remark that “I obviously don’t work in corporate america” with how much I enjoy my team and my team mates. Who loves to go to meetings? When they’re like this, with this group of people, I do. You never know what you’re getting into when you decide to work at a certain place. I never expected that some of my best friends would be people I work with. But eight years later I find myself with a network of friends who I also happen to work with all across the country. What has been one of your favorite jobs? Maybe it was the people, maybe it was the place you worked. What keeps you working where you work?