Brendan Carey graduated in 1991 from Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics. Following graduation, he returned to his home state of New York, where he sensed God’s calling into campus ministry. For three years, Brendan would serve as a Chi Alpha campus pastor at the University of Buffalo, then moved on to lead Chi Alpha at the University of Rochester. In 2000, he moved to Arizona, where he served as a youth pastor for five years with his wife Heidi, to whom he has been married since 2002. Today, Brendan is a Financial Representative for Country Financial and he and Heidi are raising two children in the Phoenix area. He shares some helpful guidance for those who are preparing to make the post-graduation transition from campus life to the marketplace:
How did ministering to college students on a secular campus impact your life?
It just opened my eyes for the great need. So many kids are hit with worldviews, changing their life, integrating faith and learning. Then when I came home, I saw the need and Chi Alpha was on the front line. A great many kids abandon the faith when they enter college where they can continue their faith in secular college and gain a heart for the lost. During this time, you’re rubbing shoulders with people who’ve never set foot in a church and don’t know God at all, and I could help by being mission-minded.
What advice would you have for Chi Alpha students who are graduating and heading into the marketplace?
Keep the mission’s heart, whether working with the local church, ministering to co-workers, networking, don’t let it just be like a conference experience where we get pumped up for the Lord and don’t take action. Get plugged into a good solid local church and support the local Chi Alpha if you have one near you.
More specifically, how can a person make an impact for Christ wherever they work, regardless of employment circumstances?
In Chi Alpha, you have to go within the rules of the campus and respect those rules. It’s the same in the workplace. Follow the rules, but be led by the Holy Spirit to minister to people’s needs when they come along.
What are some ways that alumni can find their fit in the local church?
The best advice for them is to talk to some local pastors and see if they have a heart to reach young adults and college students. Find out where the Lord would want them and connect with the local Chi Alpha chapter as well. There is a place for them, and the young adult/Chi Alpha alumnus is so valuable to any local church. They have to be proactive and forward about connecting to the local church.
Finally, what are some ways that alumni can give back to the ministry, whether it’s through the local Chi Alpha chapter or the national Chi Alpha movement?
Alumni can email or call their local Chi Alpha or stay connected with the group they attended. They can be proactive to ask the leader what they need of (e.g., supplies, donations for outreach, etc.). They can also go onto ChiAlpha.com to support the national Chi Alpha movement.