Thursday, October 13, 2011

Where I've Been & Where I'm Going

What a journey I have been on since I graduated from Butler University last spring! I just recently started working part time for Young Life Carmel and I am also embarking on a journey with my Church that I will explain later. 

My senior year at Butler was a season of transition as I wrestled with what would come after graduation. I was accepted into a graduate program in theology at Union Theological Seminary in New York City but was also feeling God tug on my heart to stay in Indianapolis for one more year. As I prayed and had conversations with friends, family, and mentors I felt that it was not the right time to take the financial leap into graduate school. 

Above is Union. It sits on on the upper east side of Manhattan right next to Columbia and Harlem. 

This summer I spent a month volunteering at Timberwolf Lake in Michigan as a Work Crew Boss. The Work Crew is comprised of around forty high school kids that have volunteered a month of their lives to live and serve at a Young Life camp. As a work crew boss, my role was to lead a group of six Work Crew kids in our daily physical labor but also (and more importantly) I was leading the group in all spiritual matters. In other words, I was disciplining, mentoring the high school kids that had come to serve for a month. The experience afforded me amazing opportunities to grow as a leader and in my individual relationship with Christ. 

One of the best jobs the Work Crew has is to welcome the busses that are dropping of hundreds of high school kids about ready to have the best week of their life and maybe here the Gospel for the first time. 
I was the Outdoor Crew Boss and these were the six guys and girls I worked with daily. I learned so much from their willingness to serve and dig deeper in their relationships with Christ. 

This is us on one of our nights off. We threw the junk in our lives that was holding us back from following Jesus into the fire, sang songs, and drank root beer. 

While graduate school seemed to be the most prestigious option for my life, I felt God pulling me towards a different path for the year ahead. After many conversations I decided to commit to a year long journey with Common Ground Christian Church called the Kingdom Living Training School. 

Do not be deceived by the title. It is not really a school, and I am not really being “trained” in anything. It is a journey with a group of 15 other people that have committed to intentionally walking with Jesus for the next year.

 Practically this looks like three classes a week from 9am to 12 where we sit in a classroom and are lead in conversation by our teacher and guide Larry Mitchell. We also take five or six vision trips to places like Toronto, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Tijuana. There is no curriculum only our guide and the direction the spirit leads the community in conversation with each other, with questions, with people we run into on our long walks through the city, with books, and with God.

It is so clear to me now that God lead me to the Training School for so many different reasons. In fact, God reveals something new to me every day. The best way I know how to describe the training school is a very intentional time in your life where you make space for God to really get into the cracks and crevices of your life that you have kept hidden from yourself and God. It is a period of refining that is sparked by the intentionally of the group and the community we are trying to live into. 

This is the group on top of the hostel we stayed in overlooking the Toronto. Which is the 5th largest city in North America and one of (if not the most) diverse cities in the world. 

We walk everywhere! And because we walk every where we are constantly in communication with each other, with the city, and with the people that line the streets of the city. 

We ate like this for the whole week. On the ground, in the middle of the city, sharing, tearing bread with our hands, and always sitting in a circle. 

The whole group! 


Outside of the Training School I was hoping to find someway to make money to pay bills, eat, pay for the training school, and save a little for graduate school. I was really hoping to do this by finding a job that I am passionate about and that would provide good experience in ministry and non-for profit work.  

I was blessed to be offered a part time Young Life staff position with Carmel (the area I have been leading at the past four years.) It has been such a blessing to work on staff in Carmel. I get to work alongside my best friends and already have a solid base of relationships with high school kids to work from. 

Part time Young life staff means I am doing all of the same things I did as a volunteer leader but also taking on administrative, organizational, and non-profit management roles to create space for other volunteer leaders to build relationships with high school students. 

So far my time on Young Life staff has been an absolute blast! There is some really amazing momentum and excitement right now stirring in Carmel Young Life. God is doing some amazing things in kids lives and setting this leadership team up to meet hundreds of new kids that maybe have never heard the good and true news of the Gospel.


Every month we have a Thanksgiving dinner potluck style. We probably had close to sixty kids show up to eat and have community with us. 

This was "Double Dog Dare you Club" Jake was Moonrock and I was Danger. 

Campaigners so far this year has been amazing! It reminds me of how badly kids want to dig deep, ask hard questions, and wrestle with stuff that matters. Nothing gets me more excited than sitting in a circle with young people and wrestling with matters of the heart. 

Wow. This is a lot. I hope you made it all the way through to the end or at least looked at all of the pictures! In the future my updates wont be near as long, there has just been a ton of transition these past couple of months that I wanted people to be updated on. 

I am looking for financial support for Young Life so if you are interested in partnering with me in my mission in Carmel you can email me at If nothing else, please partner with me in praying for me. Here are some specific areas that need prayer: 

1. My time in the Training School. 
2. Carmel Young Life- that we would be a ministry that is both wide and deep! 
3. That God would provide a part time job outside of YL so I could have more money to save up for school. 


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Whose Song are you Singing?

Monday night at Campaigners we talked about being YOURself. We wrestled with questions like: whose song are we singing? Who wrote the script we are playing?

In the Training School we have been discussing what it means to be apart of God's sweeping story. I do not want to sing a song I selfishly desire up and I definitely don't want to sing a song just because people have gone before me and achieved some sort of "success" by singing some generic song. I want to sing the song the creator of the universe that loves me relentlessly has specifically and uniquely for me.

I waited patiently for the LORD; 
   he turned to me and heard my cry. 
He lifted me out of the slimy pit, 
   out of the mud and mire; 
he set my feet on a rock 
   and gave me a firm place to stand. 
He put a new song in my mouth, 
   a hymn of praise to our God. 
Many will see and fear the LORD 
   and put their trust in him.
-Psalm 40