How the workplace is a mission field

Interviews with Alumni

InterVarsity’s vision is to see students and faculty transformed, campuses renewed and world changers developed. We hear this vision a lot, and really try to put it into play and not just let it be a bunch of words.

Each spring we graduate somewhere between 20 and 40 seniors who’ve been involved with our IV chapter here at CNU. We send them out into the world hoping that they truly have been transformed by the Spirit of Christ and desiring for them to be world changers in the places they’ll live work, carrying on not just the vision of InterVarsity but of the Gospel, to go and make disciples.

We recognize that most of our graduates will not go into full-time vocational ministry (as pastors, missionaries, etc), so most of our vision is focused on preparing people for a life of stewardship in lay jobs after college. We believe that one of the Church’s biggest needs is qualified and willing laypeople who will sacrifice their resources to serve those around them. So, we’d like to introduce you to some alumni that we feel are living the vision.

Meet Chris and Becky Chappell, graduates of CNU (’03 and ’05 respectively). They were married in 2005 and felt called by God to pursue careers in public school education, and to stay in the Newport News area after graduation. Chris teaches history and geography at Menchville High School and Becky teaches 3rd grade at McIntosh Elementary. They’re committed to serving at their church- Chris is currently in officer training to become a ruling elder and is leading a Bible study; Becky is on the worship team and is the lead servant of the women’s ministry team. But what’s more exciting to us than this are the ways they find to minister to people at their jobs.

“I just try to live a life where Christ is evident,” said Chris. “I openly tell people that its God who enables me to do things.” Becky says that at the beginning of the year she tells her students that she’s a Christian and that she goes to church, so they know they can ask her questions about God if they want to. They shared stories about going through Christian books with other teachers, inviting co-workers to church, mentoring Christian students and encouraging them to go deeper in the Word-even just going to work mentally prepared to be the only purposeful example of a loving, honest relationship that some of their students (or co-workers) had seen that day.

In closing, we asked them what things from InterVarsity had prepared them for the ministry they were doing now-or even more, what had motivated them to do it?

Becky cited her experiences with the InterVarsity worship team. “It taught me what true worship looked like,” she said. “It showed me what’s involved that’s honoring to God.” She also remembered being discipled by her staff worker because it gave her a better appreciation for the gospel, and it led her to pursue Scripture on her own, later.

Chris specifically pointed out the Bible study training; learning how to interpret and apply Scripture and then lead others in it. He also remembered the verse theme from our 222 fall conferences-2 Tim. 2:2, which talks about taking things you’ve learned and passing it on to others.

Before getting up to go, Chris said, “I heard somebody say this somewhere and it stuck with me, and I think its true, that if you’re a believer, there’s no such thing as a secular job.”

We say “Amen” to this and “God bless” to our ’09 graduates as they go forth to be world changers!

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