“University isn’t a waiting period for the rest of my life!” exclaimed Kaitlin one Friday morning.
She and I have been meeting regularly to discuss apprenticeship to Jesus through our joint passions for social justice and missions. We’ve chosen to work through a Bible study from the International Navigators’ Poverty, Corruption and Injustice Taskforce team to see how we can grow through integrating faith with these passions.
Kaitlin’s comment came out of a time of meditation, or thinking intensely, about the reality that God himself, in the person of Jesus, came to Earth. He lived, worked and played, just like us.
God himself was a child, sibling, neighbour, employee, friend and so much more.
We too are children, siblings, neighbours, employees, friends and so much more.
If God himself took on human form, this has huge implications for our lives.
The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eye, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, generous inside and out, true from start to finish.
John 1:14 (The Message)
Kaitlin: Mission begins the moment we say “yes” to Jesus
This process of exploration into full life discipleship has caused a huge perspective shift for me.
Where I previously considered my university time solely as a season of preparation for the future mission God would take me on, I now see my shared mission started the moment I said yes to Jesus.
Missions is so much more all-encompassing than I previously thought. I am learning God’s heart is to work in my day-to-day experiences and relationships, rather than only in a mission field or church building.
This has led to many honest and exciting conversations with friends who [have] yet to know Jesus. Along with my classes, I work in a company staffed almost entirely by university students. Because of the nature of my job, these students have become some of the central people with whom I regularly interact. It’s been a blessing to have many conversations with them about faith and life.
My district manager and I have had some amazing conversations. Coming from a strong scientific humanist perspective, coupled with some distant family religion, my manager once asked me this question.
“Although I can see the value of religion for community and moral guidance, do you actually believe in this Jesus guy and the virgin birth and all that?”
Questions like these have created some amazing conversations about Jesus.
This deep dive into whole life discipleship has taught me to be satisfied with the simplicity of the gospel. This means Jesus works through my regular interactions, instead of just grandiose missions activities. This switch encourages me to engage my friends and coworkers with the same passion and expectations I would bring to “big missional activities”.
– Kaitlin Alger
Kaitlin’s realization about her time in university is one of many examples we see every day. These experiences are why it’s so important to meet faithfully and individually with students. These times together don’t just affect one person – they also affect families, friend groups and people in the farthest reaches of the world who come to deeply experience Jesus’ love. The gospel of Jesus and His Kingdom flows freely through relational networks like these.
Students like Kaitlin are developing a holistic understanding of discipleship for themselves, those they interact with and for the nations.
Thank you for being faithfully present!
Note: If you are interested in a Bible study on poverty, corruption and injustice similar to the one Emily mentions in this article, it’s available here as a free download from The Navigators’ Poverty, Corruption and Injustice Taskforce.
Emily Lorentz is the campus director for the Carleton University Navigator student group, and leads the Navigator group at the University of Ottawa.