Dear Friends and Family,

“So how long will you continue to work with students?”

It’s a question that comes up often with many folks who know me. They see the gray hair on my temples and wonder if I can still connect with students. “You’re not that young anymore,” I get told.

It’s true – I turn 30 this summer. I still think I’m young, and I bet most of you do as well. But in my view of campus ministry – how I am helping to form Christ in the lives of university students – age has only helped me grow in wisdom and refining my understanding of ministry.

My view of student ministry is that my indirect leadership through the influence of students is the way to train students to lead now and in the future. Developing student leaders who love their campuses now can only help us developing leaders who love their communities in the future. Asking students questions about their classes and integrating their faith into their studies will shape students integrating their faith into their vocations beyond the university years. It also has results in the present.

This year, InterVarsity students I regularly meet with chaired the Northwestern Alternative Spring Break Program, directed the Global Engagement Summit with students from 30 countries, served as president of the Interfraternity Council, served in leadership of their fraternities and sororities, and so on and so on. I just spoke with one student who is directing 20 students in a study abroad program in Uganda this summer, where Northwestern is known as one of the leading universities in engaging in two-thirds world development. Simply put, InterVarsity is influencing influencers.

Yet in all of this, I’m wise enough to know when the foolishness of God is supreme to any wisdom I could conjure. As I reflect on the year and ministry, it’s the times where we are most dependent upon God’s work through prayer where we have seen the impact go beyond that which we could ever consider.

Ministry is a paradox that can make you think for years; but rather than dwell in complexities, my main end is to be what David Hansen calls, “a parable of Jesus Christ.” I simply aim to serve my students as one who is following Jesus with all that he knows to point others to him. And that pursuit is timeless – no matter how old we are.

Grace & Peace,

Andrew Bilhorn

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May 2021

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