In high school, I became a Jesus follower. I joined Young Life and was encouraged by the leader, John Hartle, to grow in my faith. John’s roommate was Brady Bobbink. So, when I graduated, John passed me off to Brady, who put me into his XA leadership training group at Western Washington University.
I spent the next 5 years living in residence halls learning to share the gospel where I lived. I studied history and poly sci in preparation to be a high school teacher and coach. But God had other ideas.
Brady asked me to pray about becoming a campus minister. After praying over the next year, I knew how the Lord wanted me to serve Him. I grew a passionate love for Scripture under Brady’s teachings. I also grew a love for missions, and got to lead a XA student missions team to reach First Nations people in British Columbia.
My calling to XA was immediately tested by being offered a job as the assistant to the JV coach for the basketball team. Jesus had already directed me to train to be a campus minister where I could coach university students how to serve Him.
There were four interns my year, and I was privileged to be mentored by Greg Smith (Brady’s first intern). Greg had graduated from Regent College and set about to give me a seminary education. He challenged me to study the entire New Testament and teach an 8-week class on it.
My favorite training was when another intern (Reid Johnson) and I went door to door in Highland Hall, sharing the gospel. Two men became Christ followers, and I led a weekly bible study for them. Reid pioneered the XA ministry at the University of British Columbia, and I pioneered the XA ministry at the University of Missouri at Columbia. Jerry Thomas, a fellow XA, accompanied me.
After a year of being on staff at Christian Chapel Assembly and establishing a XA group of a dozen students, Jerry and I moved back to Washington to marry our sweethearts.
Next, Jerry went to make disciples in the workplace, while Carol and I took over the XA group at Central Washington University. We’ve been there since 1981. It’s been so satisfying watching students become disciples who make more disciples (Mt. 28:18-20; 2 Cor. 5:14-21).
Obeying Jesus is where it is at. Being a XA campus minister is a front row seat, watching Him change and direct students’ lives to transform our world. He gets glory by the alumni serving Him in their local churches; making disciples in the marketplace and around the world.
It’s great knowing that this same story is repeated all over XA Nation as students come to university, become active in XA, find Jesus, and are trained to obey the Great Commission in the power of the Holy Spirit.