NKU WF

14Aug08

I’ve been keeping a pretty low profile on the blog and about life happenings.  It seems that we’re moving into a new and exciting adventure….

I recently accepted a position as a Campus Minister at Northern Kentucky University with the Wesley Foundation.  The WF is a ministry of the United Methodist Church.  NKU is only about 15 minutes/miles (about half the commute I presently have) from our house and we won’t be moving.

This means that I’ll be leaving Cincinnati Christian Schools (last day is next Friday, the 22nd) where I’ve served as the Technology Director these past 3 years.  It has been an honor to be at CCS and I will miss the students and staff.  God has taught me a ton working at CCS.

The process of interviewing included a written answer to this question: “How and Why I feel God has called me to serve Him in this position?”  Here’s my answer:

I am honored to be considered for this position of service and ministry at NKU.  The ministry opportunities are enormous and the impact that an effective campus ministry can have at NKU is vast and far-reaching.  I see NKU as an educational institution poised for continued growth and development.  It has quickly become one of the premier places for higher education in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky metroplex.  Further, as a growing school with a relatively larger commuter constituency, the opportunity to impact a broad geographic and cultural area is exciting.  Likewise, on campus with the burgeoning of residential students there is so much potential for a depth of Christian community and service in which I hope to be an active participant.

God has given me a passion for developing community and creating space for those outside the church.  My heart breaks for the postmodern college student who is searching for a place to belong, a faith to call their own, and a mission to guide their life.  Campus ministry presents an amazing opportunity to foster Kingdom communities of students that will nurture, disciple, and serve.

In many ways, my calling to serve Christ and His Kingdom at NKU feels like a “for such a time as this” moment.  It has the distinct flavor of something God has been preparing me for my whole life.  As early as junior high I felt a call to serve God in a ministry leadership role.  This calling grew and developed as I matured during high school and college while participating in the ministries of Paris First UMC Youth and Aldersgate Camp.

As a Christian Education and Youth Ministries Director at First UMC of Hamilton, OH God began to show me how the status quo of church ministries was not effective in reaching younger, postmodern generations.  I realized that both locally and beyond, there was a great exodus of youth after high school.  Unlike the Baby Boom generation they were not necessarily coming back when (and if) they had children.  I began to realize then that there was an increasing need to think like a missionary in our postmodern context and to do that I needed new tools for the task.

God led me to Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA.  It was at Fuller, far from familiar Central Kentucky and the Ohio Valley, where I became more in tune with the Missio Dei, God’s own mission, and my participation in it.  My wife, Sarah, and I helped start a house church that was connected with NewSong Church in San Dimas, CA which was an early adopter of culturally relevant ministry to postmoderns.  At Fuller I was immersed in the missional theology of Lesslie Newbigin, Eddie Gibb’s research on the emerging church, and the “now and not yet” understanding of the Kingdom of God.  God has used and continues to use these and other influential experiences and people to shape me and my philosophy of ministry.

In January of 2004, my wife and I, with our two-month old daughter, took a leap of faith as we left Pasadena, CA to move into one of the community houses of Vineyard Central, a house church network in Cincinnati.  We were thrust us into a community that was deeply committed to communal, missional living in an urban setting.  Our experiences during this year and the relationships that have since grown have deepened our commitment to cultivating communities of nurture, discipleship, and service.  Likewise, Vineyard Central was and is highly effective in reaching postmoderns.  We have served in various pastoral leadership roles within the network, including hosting and leading a house church in our home.

The “how” and the “why” of God’s call for me are intertwined with God’s story of my life.  I feel called to the NKU Wesley Foundation because it is a wonderful opportunity to extend and participate in God’s Kingdom Mission.  God has placed a calling and passion in me for seeing communities of Jesus-followers birthed among the postmodern generations.  And the college campus is far too often an “unreached people group” in postmodern culture.    My ecclesial, educational, and ministry experience has prepared me well for campus ministry.  I believe it would be a wonderful next step in God’s unfolding narrative and call.  I would be incredibly honored to serve as the Director of the Wesley Foundation at NKU.

I’ll be sharing more about this new ministry endeavor and all that God is up to in our midst… but for now I just wanted to spread the word and ask for your prayers!

Advertisements


17 Responses to “NKU WF”

  1. Congrats Aaron. Glad to have a collegiate-minded co-conspirator out there.

  2. Sounds awesome, Aaron–a perfect fit for you, I think! Can’t wait to hear how it goes!

  3. Congrats!!

  4. 4 Bethany

    Congratulations! We’re so happy for you. We can’t wait to see and hear everything that God will do.

  5. 5 Jill Shelley

    Great!!! As both a faculty member of NKU and a Methodist…welcome to campus. Please look me up. Cincinnati Christian will sorely miss you (including my daughter), however it is NKU’s gain.

  6. 6 ak

    WOO HOO! I’m excited to talk more Jill! I will miss working with Ginny this year at CCS, but look forward to what God has in store at NKU.

  7. Nice. Congrats! I’ll see you on campus since I’m returning to finish up my 9 year BA in History/English.

  8. congrats! You will make an awesome campus pastor.

  9. WOO HOO! Many congrats, Aaron! Now that you will be closer, we’ll have to do lunch again sometime!

  10. congrats!

  11. 11 Kim Stone

    I’m happy for you, Aaron! Thank-you for your patience, help, humility, and example to me at CCS over the last 3 years. It will be hard getting used to not seeing you around…

    I wish you the very best of God’as blessings.

  12. Welcome to campus ministry in the Kentucky Conference. David Sparks mentioned to some of us at New Song last weekend that you are coming to NKU.

    Good luck with everything; at least you don’t have to move!

    David Miller
    College Minister
    Union College

  13. 13 Kenny Simpson

    Welcome to campus ministry. Hope to meet you soon.

    K.S.U. Director

  14. 14 Ken Southgate

    Hey Aaron,
    Welcome to our KY Wesley Foundation Family (I serve EKU). I look Forward to meeting you!
    Ken Southgate
    EKU Wesley Foundation

  15. 15 Jean

    Congratulations!

  16. 16 Michele

    What was that new pass word again?……
    Congrats!

  17. Wow! What a great opportunity for you! I hope to catch up with you. I’m on campus on Wednesday nights for class. I hope we can reconnect!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: