A few days ago, Jen and I drove to UCLA, but this time, it was not for Jen to see one of her many health specialists. Instead, we had scheduled to connect with the Cru leaders at UCLA to share our vision for Millennials and suggest ways we could help them prepare their seniors for life after college.
You might be surprised that even among some of our colleagues with Cru, one of the most frequently asked questions we get is “What do you do?”
Perhaps you’ve asked that question as well. The short answer is that we provide resources and services to help Young Professionals thrive spiritually and live missionally (live with purpose).
The longer answer deserves a bit of context.
Picture a greenhouse. Plants thrive in a greenhouse because growth conditions are optimized. They receive just the right amount of sun, water and nutrients, all meticulously measured and delivered at just the right time. Negative growth conditions are minimized because the environment is controlled.
A campus ministry experience is often much like a greenhouse, where all the necessary ingredients for growth are integrated into the fabric and culture of the group. Spiritual growth is optimized and the student often doesn’t even think about it. Indeed, many Young Professionals have communicated to us that their most significant spiritual growth and development occurred while they were involved in a campus ministry or a college group.
Now picture a wild field. In the wild field, conditions are harsher and not optimized. The ingredients necessary for growth aren’t delivered in measured, timely intervals. The wild field has weeds, which choke out water and nutrients, bugs that eat your leaves and animals who eat your fruit or chew on your root system.
The wild field is a picture of life after college. Growth can happen but one must be exponentially more intentional about seeking out and providing their own growth resources than they were in the greenhouse.
After college, many Young Professionals are feverishly searching for a new greenhouse but are continually disappointed at the futility of their efforts. For many, finding the post-college greenhouse is like seeing a leprechaun riding a unicorn while being chased by Sasquatch. It’s so rare that it can almost be categorized as a myth or urban legend.
When we share these two word pictures with Young Professionals and even other Cru staff, a light bulb often goes off. It just makes sense.
So what is it that we do?
We come alongside Young Professionals who are navigating through the wild field of life and help to provide some of those growth ingredients that will make it easier for them to thrive spiritually and live missionally. We don’t create another greenhouse community. Instead, our hope is to help them navigate through the weeds (distractions) and predators that make it harder to experience fruitfulness.
Essentially, our desire is to help them learn how to live out their faith and their purpose as adults in the real world, just like everyone else.
Thanks for joining with us in helping Young Professionals connect to opportunities for leadership development, coaching and vocational discipleship, so that they can be unleashed to fulfill their unique potential and make a significant impact on their communities and the world!