Get to know a little bit more about our newest staffer, Christian Hearl, and his decision to join the NLCF staff team…
1. What led you to decide to join the staff team? I grew up in love with Virginia Tech. Both my parents graduated from Tech and I’ve been coming to football games since I was 6 months old. There was never any question about where I was going to go to college. When I came to Tech, God led me to the amazing community that is NLCF and I came to NLCF the first Sunday of my freshman year. During the summer following my freshman year, I had moment where God made it clear that He wanted me to go into vocational ministry. I was on plane ride home from a mission trip to Costa Rica and I just started crying for no reason at all. It was easily the craziest moment of my life. I was sobbing uncontrollably and I had no idea why. Yet somehow in that moment, I felt God say almost audibly that He was calling me to spend my life in serving the Church and leading others to do the same. From that point on, I began trying to figure out what that looked like practically and where exactly God was calling me to. Jim started talking to me about the possibility of coming on staff about midway through my junior year. At first, I was skeptical. It just wasn’t the life that I had pictured. But slowly over the next year or so, God made it clear that I belonged at NLCF. I realized that He had been preparing me for this since I was kid. Why would I not want to serve and lead in an amazing church where I could continue to proclaim the Gospel and make disciples at Virginia Tech? I feel so incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to reflect the light of Jesus to the community that I love so much and lead others to do the same.
2. What do you hope to do as a part of your ministry? I hope to continue discipling students through huddles and Engage Groups. I’m really passionate about discipleship because of what I see Jesus doing in the Scriptures. He spent the vast majority of His time living life with and pouring Himself into twelve guys. I’ve seen and experienced firsthand how these types of relationships can have a huge impact on a person’s life. I hope to make disciples who will in turn make disciples themselves.
3. What are you most excited about? I’m really excited about the opportunity to help equip and empower to students to pursue Jesus and His purposes in our community. Virginia Tech is in desperate need of students and leaders who are willing to follow Jesus no matter where He leads them. I’m excited about playing a role in leading students closer to Jesus and challenging them to hear His voice and obey.
What are you most nervous about? I’m nervous about stepping into a level of ministry where I have no experience. While I led an Engage Group and a huddle during my time as a student, I have never had to think about my ministry on a church-wide scale. I think coming on staff will present new challenges and I will face things I’ve never faced before. Any time you are stepping into a new role or a new situation, there are some feelings of inadequacy. I trust that God has prepared me for what’s to come and will walk with me through whatever challenges and difficulty I face.
4. How can NLCF pray for you? I would greatly appreciate prayers for God to go before me and prepare the hearts of the people who will support me. I live in a small town and often when I tell people that I’m going to be raising support in order to do what God has called me to do, they don’t really get it. They’ve seen international missionaries raise support and they understand that. But the idea of someone raising support to work on staff at a church in southwest Virginia is foreign to most people. My prayer is that God would prepare the hearts of the people there to participate in the work of the Gospel. Also please pray that my life during this season will be marked by closeness to God. I want to be found walking closely with Jesus and allowing Him to be my provision regardless of how things are going with support raising.
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