Author Info: Blane has served on staff at AU Chi Alpha for several years and became the Director in the Fall of 2014. This New Mexico native is a proud graduate of the University of Alabama but has fallen in love with the big city. He and his wife (Hannah) moved to DC to complete the DC Chi Alpha CMIT Program under Mike & Jen Godzwa. They are parents to a pretty amazing toddler, Jeremiah. You'll find him biking around DC in search of a coffee by day and pouring over a book by night. You can find him at, and connect with him via our AU Chi Alpha Staff Page.


As many of you know, most of the staff from AU Chi Alpha and GU Chi Alpha recently attended a staff development conference called INCITE. For those that are Chi Alpha students, it’s basically SICM but for staff! 

One of the speakers was Dave Gable. He is seventy years young and has served as a pastor, Chi Alpha Staff and even the National Chi Alpha Director! Currently, he serves as an overseeing chaplain at the National Parks Service in California. He shared key moments, of success and failure, from over four decades of full-time ministry experience. He was one of those guys with a hundred stories and even more wisdom. He talked at length on the themes of cultivating the mind you want to have through Christ and creating habits that will help you forty years from now. Talk about perspective! 

I was also honored for five years of service to Chi Alpha. I can’t believe I’ve been at American University longer than I spent at my own school, the University of Alabama. What was even cooler, was that some friends of mine, Mark and Sue, were honored for twenty-five years of service to Chi Alpha! It makes me want to try and catch them! 

Due to Dave’s insightful sessions coupled with realizing that I’d reached one of my first longevity milestones (albeit five years isn’t that long!), I’ve begun to process some of what I’ve learned throughout the past five years. And like any helpful, slightly cheesy pastor, I thought I’d organize this post with that prayer framework that I seem to always be sharing with students – Jesus. Others. Yourself. 


I’m constantly reminded that Jesus is both worthy of all of our praise and yet He’s a humble friend. He cares more about my ministry than I do and even more, cares more about my soul than my productivity. Of course, I would’ve agreed with all of these things five years ago, but I think they have really started to sink into my being, by the grace of God. 

I’ve also learned that He’s never let me down and He isn’t planning on starting now. I love this quote from Tim Keller, “We can be sure our prayers are answered precisely in the way we would want them to be answered if we knew everything God knows.” That sums it up so well, doesn't it? 

This list is by no means exhaustive, but I keep coming back to my favorite chapter in the Bible, James 4. If I draw near to Jesus, He will draw near to me. I always joke with students that if you ever come up to me for prayer at one of our worship services, I’ll likely pray that verse over you. And by likely, it’s pretty much guaranteed. Lately, however, I’ve been focusing on the second part of that verse which encourages us to check ourselves, so that we aren’t ‘double-minded’ in our expectations. In other words, ask confidently. Pray with anticipation. Seek God knowing that He will answer. I knew this was an area of my life that needed some work when I realized how big my prayers were for others yet how small they were for myself. 

I would pray that God would help new Chi Alpha CMITs (Interns) raise their budget, I would even boldly pray for monthly supports at $500 a month and for $1000 one-time gifts. Yet, when it came to my own finances (when I finally did pray), I would ask God for a $30 monthly supporter and even then, I asked half-heartedly! So, this verse has been so convicted but has also led me to walk hand-in-hand with the giver of all good things. 


I’ve learned that boundaries are there to help me so that I can help others. They aren’t there to protect my heart but instead, to protect or ensure that I am always able to pick up the servant’s towel. 

This quote from Henry Cloud has been revolutionizing (I mean that!) my thinking and decision-making lately. “Some people are wise, some are fools, and some are are evil.” He’s basically talking about the types or roles that people can play in your organization, or team or community. For the longest time, I thought there were only two groups: right and wrong. Or to use his language, wise or evil. But then I realized that most of my life I spent as a ‘foolish’ Christian. One whose intentions were well-meaning but I was off the mark (in so many ways!). This has helped me in my mentoring and leadership because each of these different types of people (or it could be thought of as moods), needs a different approach. And what I love about this, is that we are called to minister to all people – regardless of their motives or mood. However, it’s difficult to serve someone when we don’t know where or how they are in need. Plus, if I don’t have a category for ‘foolish’ or ‘unlearned’ or ‘clueless’, then the stakes are so high every day. I love when people don’t know things, it is the perfect time and chance to share and teach! 


Well, this should be “myself” but then the acronym falls apart, so, yeah. Anyways.

I’ve learned that I have limits (Jeremiah, my son, really helped me with that!). I’ve learned that it’s okay to not be okay but it’s not okay to stay there (I stole that from Matt Chandler). I’ve learned to ask for help, that what burdens me be a blessing for someone else. 

I’ve learned that I need to meet with a therapist often and take my medications daily. 

I’ve learned that God created me and wired me in a certain way, and I should embrace that and allow Him to sanctify parts of me that are messy and sinful. 

I’ve learned that leadership is the willingness to be misunderstood but I love being understood and liked, so that’s a daily tension. 

I’ve learned that I am surrounded by some of the brightest students in the world, and some of the most loving and amazing people in our staff team, city team and church partner network. 

I’ve learned that I married up. Hannah is the reason I’m still in Chi Alpha, she’s an anchor to me and a wonderful mother. (I’ve also learned I may never even get close to beating her at LetterPress.) 

I’ve learned that watching films with a friend is recharging, cooking is fun (when there isn’t a rush) and that I’ve become a coffee snob. 

Published on July 12, 2016 •  Short link:

AuthorBlane Young

In the process of looking for jobs, young professionals often succumb to the corporate world and lose sight of their vision and who they are. However, knowing oneself, and God’s plan for your career, is extremely important during job hunting. 

Written by Steve Prawiromaruto ( Facebook )

Written by Steve Prawiromaruto (Facebook)

Tedx Speaker and author Simon Sinek came up with a revolutionary idea called “Start with Why.” During his talk, he continuously emphasized this idea of “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” Sinek discussed how famous individuals such as Steve Jobs and the Wright Brothers came up with ideas that revolutionized the world even though there were others around them that had the same capacity to do so. According to Sinek, what distinguishes these individuals is that they communicate the main driving force or the “why” behind their ideas instead of merely saying what their idea is.

Indeed, Sinek’s point of using “why” is revolutionary and gives us a new perspective on careers and how God plays a role in it. Ultimately, if God is your “Why,” he will guide you in the right path and into the right career path. Ask these questions:

  • What talents has he given to me?
  • What kind of environment is he calling me to work in? 
  • Has he created me as someone who likes social interaction? If not, what jobs would be the best fit for me?
  • How much money do I want to make while still putting God first and finances second?

Ah yes, the dreaded money question. Although money is a tricky issue, its still something that needs to be considered. Be honest with yourself regarding how much you should make with your living situation and look for jobs that fit your needs. Do your research regarding the average wage of your position before discussing pay with your employer and do not just accept a low offer for no good reason and expecting a raise in the near future. The organization Glassdoor, a reputable career database, has stated that this does not happen 99% of the time. If you have prayed about it and thought it through, there is no reason to accept anything less, as it will only hurt you and even your future family in the long run.

Sinek states that this approach of using “why” is what makes inspiring leaders. Martin Luther King Jr. said “I have a dream” and not “I have a plan.” He said what his beliefs were and it resonated to those around him and attracted people to him. When you find the right job, and you’re sitting in that office, nervously waiting for your interview, take a minute to examine yourself and ask “Why” you really want this job. Don’t just say profit, which is a result and not a purpose, as Sinek says, but instead ask how this job would accomplish your vision and mission for the future. Going into the interview with this mindset will help you be more confident throughout the interview and help out with those “Tell us a little bit about yourself” questions.

However, even with using “why” and leaning on the Lord for guidance, the path will still be long and challenging. You will probably receive a couple of rejection letters or even not receive anything, after that first interview and maybe even a couple more following that. To make matters worse, your well-intentioned friends and family might continuously remind you about it by asking “Oh how’s that interview you said you aced?” or “Do you have a job yet?” However, these moments are actually where a “why” and a bigger purpose will help you. In a recent article I read from the Huffington Post, the author stated that the number one skill in the workforce is surprisingly not two years of experience with Photoshop but instead “tenacity”. The ability to stay resilient after failure and persistently holding on to your “Why” is how you build up your character and continue working towards success. Thomas Edison took 10,000 attempts to invent the lightbulb. You may fail many times before finally landing the right job.

While a lot of people out there would just say “Follow Your Dreams,” I think this is way too simplistic as your dream will not always be what is good for you. Only by leaning to the Lord as your identity and purpose in job hunting will you be able to choose the right career path and be able to present yourself as someone with ambition and vision. 

Further Resources

Money at US News - Choosing a Fitting Career

Jobs at AOL - How to Negotiate Your Starting Salary

Forbes - 10 Things to Do When You Don't Hear Back After a Job Interview

Huffington Post - The Most Valuable Skill

AuthorBlane Young
Written by Kristin Caldwell

Written by Kristin Caldwell

I chose the college that I went to because it had a graphic design major and a Spanish minor. My plan was to somehow incorporate graphic design into mission work somewhere in Latin America. It didn't take me long into my college career to realize that perhaps I didn't enjoy graphic design quite as much as I thought I did. Certainly not enough to pursue as a career. And so I decided to change to photography, which I thought would be different. However, two years and a third major later, I was in my junior year and again feeling as though I still hadn't arrived at the right fit. 

Eventually I settled on Family and Consumer Sciences, which I chose before I even knew what is was. It’s the conclusion that I arrived at while praying with and receiving suggestions from friends. Upon doing some research, it did seem like it might make sense in mission work even though I didn’t know at that point exactly what kind of mission work I wanted to do. When translated into something people have actually heard of, Family and Consumer Sciences means Home Ec, or how to run a home. I didn’t know how exactly it would apply, but I figured it would at least be more relevant than graphic design.

The type and location of ministry that I'm doing now is a lot different than I would have expected going into college. I'm still trying to figure out how exactly my major relates to campus ministry. There are areas where it sort of applies, but nothing much more than that. The classes that do seem to be the most relevant for ministry were the ones that I took for fun—such as Basic Counseling, Jewish Literature, and Sacred Books of the World.

Perhaps more than anything else, my major taught me skills that I can use as connection points with students. Some of the skills that I learned in my classes have become hobbies, and that kind of thing can be used as things to do together. Perhaps things like cooking and sewing together aren't specifically discipleship, but they are ways of having fun, connecting relationally, and building community outside the normal setting.

One other super practical class I took was called Relationships and Personal Development. This class focused on learning how to empathize, communicate feelings, and resolve conflict. These are all super relevant to skills to have in ministry and life in general, and I think that they have helped me become a better communicator.

My degree isn't the most relevant in terms of traditional employment. I'm still very much trying to figure out why I felt like this is where God wanted me. So far it’s provided me with opportunities to build community and tools to use in communication, which are both super applicable in ministry. I'm excited to see how it continues to play out in what I am doing now and in the future.

AuthorBlane Young