Author Info: A Buffalo native, Natalie Hill is best known for her unique vocals and indie style. Yet it's her heart for seeing students lives transformed by the power and love of Jesus that makes her a quality leader. She serves on the staff team at American University Chi Alpha. 


I remember sitting in American University’s Bender Arena on graduation day, listening to my favorite anthropologist and activist speaking to a room full of graduates on the very thing I spent my whole college career studying.  I remember wondering how many students were lucky enough to get to hear directly from the people they learned about, studied, and emulated so much throughout college.  I remember seeing pictures of friends during their graduation from Georgetown University with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger photobombing in the crowd.  I remember reading books in class written by distinguished AU grads or watching them on major news networks or reading their articles in the newspaper and thinking, this city has a lot of influence.  And I got to be there.

This phrase “City Heart” has been bouncing around our Chi Alpha offices a lot this year.  Honestly it’s a term we’ve been describing for a while, but until this year hasn’t really had a name (and we all know everything sounds better when it has a name).  It’s our way of simply saying that we have a heart for this city.

Yes, I work for American University and we have staff at Georgetown and there are Chi Alphas on many different campuses all over the country, but sometimes that makes us forget why we came here in the first place.  It was to reach this city.  I remember sitting in my commencement ceremony, watching student after student cross the stage, get their diploma, and enter a world where they’d have a lasting impact, one that could affect this nation and even the whole world.  They came to Washington, DC because they knew it was a city that produces difference-makers.  It’s a city that creates people who will impact the world.  I couldn’t help but think I was looking at future CEOs, ambassadors, inventors and innovators, creators of charities that would provide resources for the underprivileged, and the next generation of leaders.

It’s easy to get caught up in the ins and outs of my campus and forget the big picture, which is to reach some of the smartest, driven students in the world and have an impact on the nations.  

It’s to create an urban hub where we can train leaders and send people out to affect their families, workplaces, governments, cities, and countries.  Our dream is that DC could be a place where US missionaries come to train and are sent into other urban places that have yet to be reached.  And maybe it can be a place where we can show others that there is a need for ministries in hard places because it can have a deep impact.

I think the city, DC and others, scares people.  It’s expensive; it’s harsh; it’s exhausting.  The people are hard to reach.  They’re smart and often don’t believe in ultimate truth, especially if it’s coming from Christians.  It’s a difficult place to raise a family, and it’s a transient place, making it hard to establish community. I struggle with all this at times.

“City Heart” is our way of reminding ourselves that it’s worth it.  It’s our way of reminding ourselves why we’re here - why we’ve chosen to support raise for a living, why we live in studio apartments or with multiple roommates, why we live in community with other Chi Alpha staff and college students, why we spend some evenings going to Georgetown and praying for other campuses, why our lives are 24/7 surrounded by others, and why we’ve devoted our lives to colleges in Washington, DC.  It’s our reminder of why God called us here, no matter the cost, because we know the impact we can have is beyond worth it.

Reach this city.  Reach the world.  City Heart.

And as you consider serving with us, or as you pray and give towards this, you are developing a city heart that is truly making a difference. 


Syndicated & Updated on July 21, 2017 • Short Link: http://bit.ly/2twIdIu

Posted
AuthorBlane Young
CategoriesStaff Posts
TagsVision

Author Info: A Buffalo native, Natalie Hill is best known for her unique vocals and indie style. Yet it's her heart for seeing students lives transformed by the power and love of Jesus that makes her a quality leader. She serves on the staff team at American University Chi Alpha. 

I remember sitting in American University’s Bender Arena on graduation day, listening to my favorite anthropologist and activist speaking to a room full of graduates on the very thing I spent my whole college career studying.  I remember wondering how many students were lucky enough to get to hear directly from the people they learned about, studied, and emulated so much throughout college.  I remember seeing pictures of friends during their graduation from Georgetown University with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger photobombing in the crowd.  I remember reading books in class written by distinguished AU grads or watching them on major news networks or reading their articles in the newspaper and thinking, this city has a lot of influence.  And I got to be there.

This phrase “City Heart” has been bouncing around our Chi Alpha offices a lot this year.  Honestly it’s a term we’ve been describing for a while, but until this year hasn’t really had a name (and we all know everything sounds better when it has a name).  It’s our way of simply saying that we have a heart for this city.

Yes, I work for American University and we have staff at Georgetown and there are Chi Alphas on many different campuses all over the country, but sometimes that makes us forget why we came here in the first place.  It was to reach this city.  I remember sitting in my commencement ceremony, watching student after student cross the stage, get their diploma, and enter a world where they’d have a lasting impact, one that could affect this nation and even the whole world.  They came to Washington, DC because they knew it was a city that produces difference-makers.  It’s a city that creates people who will impact the world.  I couldn’t help but think I was looking at future CEOs, ambassadors, inventors and innovators, creators of charities that would provide resources for the underprivileged, and the next generation of leaders.

It’s easy to get caught up in the ins and outs of my campus and forget the big picture, which is to reach some of the smartest, driven students in the world and have an impact on the nations.  It’s to create an urban hub where we can train leaders and send people out to affect their families, workplaces, governments, cities, and countries.  Our dream is that DC could be a place where US missionaries come to train and are sent into other urban places that have yet to be reached.  And maybe it can be a place where we can show others that there is a need for ministries in hard places because it can have a deep impact.

I think the city, DC and others, scares people.  It’s expensive; it’s harsh; it’s exhausting.  The people are hard to reach.  They’re smart and often don’t believe in ultimate truth, especially if it’s coming from Christians.  It’s a difficult place to raise a family, and it’s a transient place, making it hard to establish community.

“City Heart” is our way of reminding ourselves that it’s worth it.  It’s our way of reminding ourselves why we’re here - why we’ve chosen to support raise for a living, why we live in studio apartments or with multiple roommates, why we live in community with other Chi Alpha staff and college students, why we spend some evenings going to Georgetown and praying for other campuses, why our lives are 24/7 surrounded by others, and why we’ve devoted our lives to colleges in Washington, DC.  It’s our reminder of why God called us here, no matter the cost, because we know the impact we can have is beyond worth it.

Reach this city.  Reach the world.  City Heart.


Published on June 29, 2016 • Short Link: http://bit.ly/292wRS0

Posted
AuthorBlane Young
CategoriesStaff Posts

Ministry is about less.  Somehow in a year I’ve turned ministry into processes, into the execution of my skills, into delightful experiences.  None of that is wrong.  Without my talents and methods I would be useless.  But ministry is not about these additives.  Ministry is about people.

 Written by Nick Holmstedt      Facebook  | |  Twitter

 Written by Nick Holmstedt

   Facebook | | Twitter

It seems so obvious.  I have found this truth multiple times.  Then I bury it beneath the rubble of my profound methodology, my ingenious hypotheses, my selfless preoccupation with myself.  Each time I turn around and so “Oh yeah, I need to be ministering TO others.”  A friend recently reminded me that “We are filled up to be poured out.”  As I have been staring my future down I wonder why I commit to that admittedly daunting path of ministry. 

And then I re-engage in community.  My processes crack against the spirit of my friends and family and the fault-line is real discipleship.  Ministry is the meeting of people and process and God the molten lava that underlies and causes that powerful unity. 

How can we live focusing primarily on people?  How do we avoid wrapping ourselves in methods at the sake of relationship?

I’m no expert, but I’ve found a few mental checks keep me lined up with God’s will here:

1)      Keep people on your mind and be praying for them.  It’s easy to focus on the next task, your objective.  Write down names on post-it notes and every time you see that note, pray for the person.  When you hop on Facebook, choose the top two or three people and say a 5-second prayer.

2)      Keep in touch with people.  It’s easy to forget people are primary when our interactions are limited.  Reach out and let someone share a story.  Do it as often as you can- which might be different for you than me. 

People’s worth will lead you to engagement in and of itself- just give people an opportunity to renew your hearts over and over again.

Posted
AuthorBlane Young