Today we had our first day of all staff formation. We started with an overview of why we do formation and mentorship, and then dove right in to leadership and the virtues of humility and magnanimity. After our overview, Fr. Kevin Dyer, a Jesuit from Denver, jumped right in to talk to us about leadership.
He spoke to us about images of leadership in the new testament. I loved these two things Fr. said in regards to our formation:
"A Christian leader is someone who leads people to a certain life not by pointing the way but by showing the way and setting the pace. The followers are attracted to your way of life."
"We will make the commitment these five weeks to look at ourselves and say, 'I hate my sin and I hate anything that will keep me from leading others to Christ and that will keep me from being transformed.'"
I love how true they ring. As a missionary, it will not be my job to sit around and tell people what to do. Rather, my job will be to deeply and intimately invest in the lives of college students. My job will be to love them, and my job will be to take them by the hand as I show them how to follow Jesus. We spend these intense five weeks to form ourselves because we cannot give away what we have yet to receive. Christ called us here not just so we can change lives on the campus, He also wants to make big changes in us.
When I started to get overwhelmed by the great task that is this job, Fr. Kevin said, "we learn our character by imitating. Just look at the wonderful people that surround you!" He encouraged us to imitate each other as we are all striving to imitate Christ.
"God provides if we're willing to say 'yes.' If you are, get rid of your fears and Christ will form you."
The rest of today was followed by more classes and a lot of intentional time with our colleges. Today my college ate dinner together and had two hours to hear each other's testimonies and unpack what we learned in class today.
Yesterday, Biking for Babies made a stop in Champaign. They rode all around the country to share the pro-life message and to raise support for pregnancy centers this past week. I admire how these individuals took an active stand to support something they believe in.
I am looking forward to meeting the men in our BroCo (brother college) on Thursday, beginning classes on the spiritual life, and to continue to make new friends.