There are 3 things that profoundly transformed me from being on IV staff in the Red River: 1. Scripture, Small Groups, and the book of Mark. I taught the Inductive Bible Study track at Breakthrough, I lead the Mark manuscript track at camp, along with Jon Parker I created an Old Testament Survey track at Rec Week. I learned how to engage people in Scripture and that skill has been the foundation of how I am a pastor. My mentors in IV made the Scriptures come alive in a way I had never seen. Those experiences have given me so many skills for a life of ministry.
2. Laurel and I helped to lead Student Training in Mission. We learned how to ask the prior question of trust, the value of experiential discipleship, and the need to do the next right thing. Now as a pastor in the local church, I make sure that cross-cultural opportunities are offered every year as a part of our program of discipleship. And we are regularly praying that medium-term and long-term workers would be sent out of our church. I would not have that vision if I had not been on InterVarsity staff.
3. Multi-ethnicity. I had deep friendships with fellow staff from different ethnic backgrounds. They lived life with me and they gave me the privilege of caring about the things that were close to their heart. I have not experienced anything like it since. I pray for it. But I miss the opportunity to partner and co-labor with my multi-ethnic staff team. It was such a rich experience.
Lanee Webel Reichert, Teacher, Illinois
The leadership skills I use daily as an elementary school principal were not taught in my graduate school programs but through my time on staff with Intervarsity. In education, we often say the highest level of understanding is when a student can teach their classmates what they have learned. This echoes Paul’s teaching to Timothy, “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.” (2 Timothy 2:2). As a student leader and then as a staff member, this was my life verse and was truly at the heart of my calling to staff. Now as a principal, it is the heart of my calling to the students, staff, parents and the community I serve. The leadership opportunities afforded me through Intervarsity have been invaluable working in the public school system.
Patty Pell Pastor of Community Impact at Christ Community Church,
Campus Pastor at Christ Community International, a refugee and immigrant congregation InterVarsity Interim Ministry
Being on staff has been the single most important factor in my spiritual growth, leadership development and character formation. Being empowered as a woman in leadership, being given the freedom for creativity in ministry and being given the privilege to impact the lives of students in strategic ways has been life-changing for me. I have developed skills in leadership, management, spiritual direction, conflict resolution, Scripture study, teaching, public speaking, event planning, strategic thinking, and curriculum creation. The skills and abilities that I learned and acquired because of my time on staff are tremendous and incredibly transferable to almost any workplace context or life situation.
The most rewarding aspect of being on staff is the privilege of coming alongside the Spirit of God in His work in a student's life. I frequently felt that I had the opportunity to help students see, understand and embrace what God was doing in them and around them. I became passionate about educating, equipping and inspiring college students toward a wholistic life of discipleship. My own spiritual formation was deeply impacted because through InterVarsity I was exposed to many different streams of Christian expression… I experienced in very personal ways the Revelation picture of the kingdom of God - every nation, tribe, people and language. The opportunity to build meaningful and lasting relationships with other staff and students who were from every ethnicity and culture has literally changed the way I view everything in life. God developed in me an insatiable passion for reconciliation in the church and for all followers of Christ to learn from one another through Scripture, prayer, worship and relationships so that our understanding of God is constantly expanding.
William D. Taylor, Ph.D.
William D. Taylor, Ph.D. Zaken, President, TaylorGlobalConsult Austin, TX
I was involved as IV student, part-time then full-time staff (total of 3 years), veteran of campus hostility in 1962 as a student and later at UT as a staff. But I would never trade it. It shaped me for life. And it prepared me (in part) to serve as part-time staff for IFES in Latin America, discipling students in Guatemala and beyond. This June, Yvonne and I were in Guatemala and celebrated an incredible Sunday afternoon meal with the core group of five disciples from 1970-1972, men and women in their professions, in their 60’s (I just 73). Not all of those disciples remained faithful, but the core did. It was worth it. It was all worth it.
Ron Chan, 1st year Master of Divinity student at Regent College
God had used InterVarsity as an instrument of transformation in my life. There are many things I appreciate about my employment with IVCF: the abundant opportunities to practice hands-on ministry and specifically disciples making, the challenge to engage the university world relevantly, the available platforms to be trained and train others in the area of leadership development, and much more. One of the most enjoyable elements as a CSM is the opportunity to practice “life together” with my students and witness God’s powerful work in their lives daily. Through leading missionally in the local and global context, I have developed a deeper sense of God’s love for the world and a deeper clarity of His calling for my life. As I begin my theological studies at Regent College, I feel my experiences with IVCF has given me a practical lens to see the world of Christian history, culture, and theology. As you discern His call in the coming weeks, may you experience his love richly and guidance plainly.
Before I joined staff in the Red River Region, I was a Christian who hated serving others and was petrified of reaching out to those who didn't know Christ. I was self-focused, small-visioned and content. I never sacrificed my time, talent and treasure more, trusted Jesus' provision more, depended on the Holy Spirit's strength and guidance more, cried for the Kingdom, ached for the lost, rejoiced in the Godly growth of others, desired deeper understanding and relationships with other cultures and denominations, learned and taught more Scripture, put myself "out there" for the Gospel, cared for others, or wanted so much less of myself and my ways more than during my three years as an intern and volunteer staff. Joining staff completely transformed my life, my relationship with God and how I interacted with the world and my community. I am no longer content to be bland; I boldly cry out to be sent as salt to the world!
Youth Director, Fort Bend Community Church
Everything is bigger in Texas, and that includes the Red River Region. My internship with InterVarsity in Lubbock, Texas taught me to fully rely on God's provision and strengthened my faith as I served in a context and on a campus that was completely different - and 600 miles away - from the one I knew. During that year, my heart for student ministry was deepened and developed, which led me to my current role as a Youth Director. I am thankful for the learning opportunities that being on staff presented and the growth I experienced through InterVarsity, both as a student and on staff.
J & S
J & S (not pictured for security reasons)
Missionaries in Southeast Asia
Perhaps the thing we most appreciated about our InterVarsity staff experience was the actual Red River staff team. Never before or since have we served alongside such genuine, admirable staff. The leaders who led us were the kind of people we wanted to be like, and the culture of the region was one of learning and opportunity. As a result, our interactions with the staff of InterVarsity have proven to be one of the greatest change agents in our lives. We couldn't have imagined a better training ground for overseas M work!