Have you met the interns yet? They're pretty amazing. The following post is from Nick Holmstedt a recent graduate of Hamline University. He has a knack for making friends easily and even though he doesn't really like coffee, we try not to hold that against him.
Not everyone understands my job. Not everyone even understands that this work is a job; “When you get a real job,” they say. You can put yourself in their shoes, of course. A recent college graduate, going back to a college campus with friends in a place they’ve spent years (or a semester, but who’s counting?). Certainly you could assume there would be comfort, it would be the 'easy' choice, that it’s just an opportunity to stick around with friends for another year.
Reality sets in to define something totally distinct from a student’s experience. We have the beauty of a job whose bounds are that of missional, Kingdom living. Truly, though, our mission is no different than that of any Christian, regardless of vocation: to bring the light of Jesus into the world. In ministry, we are wonderfully blessed to pursue God and share His glory outside of office prisons (because that’s what cubicles really are, right?).
The difference is not our job versus professional jobs, for we share purpose. Instead the change is in the context of our work, our relative freedom to share boldly and often. I’ll tell you, though, the unique challenges of this open box are vast. Each day brings about a new perspective as we explore the depths of God’s people.
When it’s all boiled down, my job is principally about relationship. This certainly strikes another struggle with the term ‘job.’ Traditional American culture sees relationship as only a benefit of friendship, but that’s far from what a biblical community embraces. The conflict in perception is that a job is something you do, but in the case of ministry our job is something we love (you could even say our job IS love, but that’s a little cheesy). We open up our experiences and our vulnerabilities to others and strive to grow together towards Christ. We deal in the eternal, the spiritual: abstract and intangible but absolutely integral.
Of course, the spiritual is related to the physical. We could sit and stare at the sky awaiting Jesus’ return, but at the cost of much capacity for good here. So we do work to facilitate the setting for Christ. Into our campus we want to welcome him, into the hearts of students and faculty and staff and everyone. To do this requires preparation. The hours we spend managing databases, updating websites, practicing for musical worship, studying Scripture, planning meetings, purchasing materials… it goes to serve that purpose of discipleship, evangelism, of fellowship and praise.
This job is worth it. Because it’s more than a job, more than a career. It’s a mission, a vision, an opportunity, a gift. If you can know only one thing about what we do, know this: we love God, God loves us, we work to make known that His love is available to all, and we work hard to do it. Because it's worth it.