A Give A Year Retrospective

This is a post by Dylan Hastings, the first Chi Alpha Protege who is wrapping up his Give a Year at American University

    Reflection has never been one of my strong suits. I have a hard time with transitions and as such generally prefer not to look back too much for fear of painful nostalgia however I’m happy to have this opportunity to share some of my experiences this year. Last year at Senior Banquet my freshman roommate Joey Shadel’s senior farewell was a series of shout outs and remembrances so I would like to invoke his style, or otherwise put, steal his technique and do a literary highlight reel.

      1. Helping with my first baptism



    I had the privilege and honor of baptizing a long time friend of mine, Javier Tovar, this past winter. Being able to be a part of the external signal that someone identifies as being a member of The Kingdom of God is a very humbling experience and one I don’t take lightly.



     2.  Having people tell me how my sermon affected them


    This was my third opportunity to give a sermon I’ve had. The first two were in my church back home and I think this one was my best so far. That being said, what was amazing about this one is that it came from me but also definitely not. Previously I had leaned on areas of scripture or theology that I was comfortable in, things I had studied or thought a lot about before. This time however I was inspired to talk about something I just came up with, or more accurately God just gave me. I was convinced God was the source when people told me how much the specific message meant to them and it amazed me how God used me to reach people.


     3. Leading an amazing small group      


I had the privilege of leading with Chris Carr this year and I loved getting the chance to help a new leader learn the ropes (not that he needed all that much help) and I got to lead a really dedicated and invested group that not only searched after God together but also had a lot of fun.


     4. Feeling loved and Honored at Study Break Worship


    Blane said some really nice things about me and having everyone who was there yell, clap and cheer really made me feel special. It was definitely a bittersweet moment being at my last TNW (at least not as a guest) but I really felt honored for the time I put into this community.


     5. Working and learning from a dedicated, passionate, and skilled team of ministers

    I have been amazed at the dedication and sacrifice I’ve seen in each of the members of the staff team. They give up so much in order to serve with all that they have (and sometimes a little more). I’ve learned so much from them and am grateful for their patience with me and their investment in my spiritual and professional development. Thank you guys so much!


-Dylan Hastings