Kevin came on staff at American University Chi Alpha in 2012 after graduating with a Bachelor's of Science in Business. He is the director of Chi Alpha International and also disciples student leaders. In his free time he likes to cheer on his Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Twins. He also has an impeccable bowling form.
Dear Pre-Staff Kevin,
I wish I could say that I’ve lived a life without regret. That every decision I’ve made has been beneficial for me and that I never spend time reflecting and wishing that I had done things differently.
But sadly I cannot say that. You know how they say that mistakes are moments of learning? Well that is very true.
Without these mistakes I would’ve never become the man I am now. I truly believe like it says in the book of John, that God will “prune every branch that does bear fruit.”
These mistakes have been God’s pruning process for me so that I might bear even more fruit. But I don’t think these lessons were simply meant for me to withhold for myself, I’ve been blessed with these lessons so that I can share them with others.
So follow along carefully, learn these lessons without making the mistakes I made.
1. Don’t Compartmentalize People in Your Life
You should not be the judge on whether one group of friends will get along with another group. And I fully understand what your reservations are.
You’re scared that your non-Christian friends will think that your christian friends are lame and boring. Or you somehow think that you can minister to your non-Christian friends better as an individual than as a community.
Let go of your pride and doubt. You will come to realize that the best form of ministry is when people are grafted into your faith community and come to realize the genuine joy they can experience being with people who love God.
2. Be Quick to Apologize
I once heard a quote, “Do you want to make a point or do you want to make a relationship?”
The quote was more about the social issues that the church chooses to engage in, but it is very relevant in our daily relationships. How often have you refused to apologize for something you don’t think you are at fault for?
How many relationships have you let peter out because of unaddressed resentment? As I look back on all the friends I no longer speak to, it saddens me to think that those friendships were lost over very trivial matters.
3. Love Intensely
Loving hurts. Love comes at a price. In loving someone deeply you make yourself vulnerable. And in that vulnerability the betrayal, disappointment and deception of others hurt exponentially worse.
So you guard yourself a little, you love a little less, because then the pain wouldn't be so bad. Sometimes your friends don’t even do anything to maliciously hurt you, instead they just graduate and move on with their lives, but that hurts even more!
And so you calculate just the right amount of love to give someone so that when they leave or hurt you, the pain will be manageable.
Don’t do that. Love well and love frequently no matter how short a person’s stay in your life is. Trust that the Lord will give you the strength to keep pouring out love, because He will. Even if it doesn’t make sense to love somebody, even if it hurts you more to love them, choose to love them all the more. It is amazing what the Holy Spirit will enable you to do.
As you can tell there are some similarities between all three lessons. The danger of pride, the need to love well, the importance of relationships. As I am preparing to leave this university for the last time, I do not remember my accomplishments as a Kogod student, nor as a Chi Alpha staff member. I do not remember my first sermon nor my last small group.
I remember Emily. I remember Joey. I remember XY. Shriyan. Josh. Kevin. Steve. Nick. Paul. Jared. Dylan. Natalie. Sarah. Blane. Hannah. Becca. Phoebe. Liz. Nati. Chris. Allyson. Reina. Katie. Javier. Jackson. Jacob. Sam. Ian. Marcus. Jesse. Tyler. Jake. Taylor. Lauren. Chris. Laura. Tim. Mike.
Don’t miss them because you're busy with school. A life without relationships is not a life at all.
Your Future Self,