Amanda graduated from University of Missouri Chi Alpha. She was a small group leader for 3 years as a student and as well as a leader in XAi. Amanda currently lives in St. Louis, MO. While once a case manager for homeless youth, she is now a Quality & Compliance Associate for Youth in Need, a non-profit organization.
Describe the impact Chi Alpha had on you as a student.
When I first started attending Mizzou, I had recently given my life to Christ in the last part of my senior year of high school. However, I had not received any discipleship on what it looks to really follow Christ in our daily lives and to be a witness to those around us. From the beginning of my freshman year, Chi Alpha leaders pursued me as a person that mattered to our Heavenly Father and never gave up on being a consistent. They were an unwavering place to go, even when I wasn’t quite yet “all-in.” Once I started attending small groups and worship services I was given the opportunity to unlock my leadership potential for building the Kingdom of God. I grew in confidence in my personality and Christ-centered identity and embraced the call to intentional community building and mentorship. Chi Alpha opened my eyes to God’s purpose for my life, which is to reach the nations for Him through my prayers, giving, and going.
What lead you to your career you have today?
As my graduation drew near, my husband (then boyfriend) and I sought the Lord in prayer on where we were to go and how he wanted us to get there. To me, he gave me a vision of myself walking under the Gateway Arch with two women who wore hijabs. I knew that meant I was to move to St. Louis and let him open up the doors of opportunity to serve the populations that are spiritually lost, but in a “marketplace” capacity at first. Throughout college I minored in Leadership & Public Service and thrived in being Jesus’ hands and feet in a secular non-profit capacity. I applied to several non-profit positions, praying that I would only be offered the exact job that God wanted me to have. He answered that prayer and made every detail fall into place in perfect timing for me to be in the career field I’m in today.
What are the challenges of being an ambassador of Christ in your line of work?
In my line of work, there are many unbelievers who are closed off to the gospel because of the stereotypes they’ve grown up with. Additionally, social work and public service naturally tends to have a worldly perspective on “hot-topic” issues such as gender, sexuality, and class, and this perspective has often countered what Jesus has to say about the issue. In building relationships with my coworkers, when those conversations come up, I have to watch how passionate I become about truth, and ensure that I exude the love of Christ through any words I speak.
How have you continued living discipleship after graduation?
I think the biggest way that I continue to live out Chi Alpha is through community building and how I live life with other people. My house has a “the door is always open” policy for anyone who needs a place to stay or a meal to eat. I think of ways that I can intentionally live life with other people, and have sought out opportunities to disciple others and be discipled by spiritual mentors. When I moved away from the college campus, my Chi Alpha mentors were amazing and still checked in with me, but I knew that I needed to seek opportunities to grow from wise leaders that I can live everyday life with. I also prayed for opportunities to bear fruit into others’ lives by sharing in one-on-one discipleship. It’s different without the structure of Chi Alpha, but simply takes more intentionality on my part to make myself available for those opportunities.
What is the biggest thing you have learned that you would want to pass along to Chi Alpha students and alumni?
I would encourage everyone to adjust their expectations for every season they are in, especially shifting from the college ministry atmosphere to a church atmosphere. Always come to God with great expectation of what He can do. Remember that people are still imperfect and struggling with their own battles every day. In Chi Alpha, we receive phenomenal discipleship training amongst our peers in the short time we are on a college campus that many followers of Christ haven’t received in their decades of knowing the Lord. We have the gift of both sharing what we’ve gained and also remaining patient with the difference of discipleship in a multi-generational church.