Alumnus Spencer Roberts Shares How Involvement with Campus Clubs Prepared Him for Life After College
Getting to college is a major milestone in life and one that deserves to be celebrated with photos, fun, and friends. But, it’s also a stepping stone into the next phase of life: adulthood. When choosing a college, you’ll want to look for a place that both educates you where you’re at and prepares you for life after graduation.
When Spencer Roberts was a student at Grace from 2015 to 2018, he served with the Grace Intramural Program (GIP), which provides opportunities for students to play team sports without the pressure of collegiate competition. This involvement position helped him practice athletic and leadership skills that he would not have known otherwise. As a 2018 graduate with a double major in Youth Ministry and Biblical Studies, Roberts was prepared to serve the church’s youth. Continue reading to learn more about his experiences as a student involved on campus:
Getting involved with campus clubs
Roberts’ involvement with GIP began his freshman year when he got involved with the intramural soccer team, which allowed him to get to know the team of GIP officers. When a job opening for a GIP officer came up, he approached Kearstin Criswell about being hired for the position.
“I’m not entirely sure why she hired a freshman, but she saw something in me that I didn’t even realize was there,” Roberts said.
“Spencer was eager to get plugged into campus,” said Criswell. “When I think of Spencer, I think of stewardship, teachability, and love for the person of Jesus. Through Spencer’s leadership, our intramural program improved immensely. He led his team with integrity and confidence.”
As he embraced his new role, he valued the social connections and opportunities to stay active. At the end of his freshman year, when the director of GIP was stepping down, Roberts took the opportunity to apply and was accepted. He stayed in this position for the next two years of college.
Reasons to work with campus clubs
As an intramural soccer team participant, Roberts enjoyed the sports atmosphere as well as being in the athletic community – but he also saw it as an opportunity for something greater.
“I think recreational sports can be really honoring to God in the sense that they provide avenues to care for our bodies and build community that wouldn’t exist otherwise,” Roberts said.”And I thought it was the coolest thing that we offered free, competitive, recreational sports of all kinds to an entire campus.”
One of the most fulfilling parts was that he got to spiritually encourage others and be encouraged himself. All of the teams had a chance to bond over shared physical activity, which led to deeper connections in all areas of life.
Preparation for after college
Roberts’ main takeaway from working under Criswell was the personal development that he experienced. “It was always about more than just GIP,” he said. “Kearstin took intentional time to help me grow and develop as a person.”
Criswell enjoyed pouring into Roberts. “Weekly meetings with Spencer revealed to me his heart for growth and allowing the Holy Spirit to work,” said Criswell. “Through his humble curiosity, I saw his love for Jesus and His people expand even further. We wrestled through what it looked like to love all of God’s people, to stand up for justice, practice empathy, and be an advocate.”
On top of those priorities, organization was a big part of Spencer’s work as well, which helped him leave his GIP position with a sense of personal and career management skills. Interacting with the student body and other Student Involvement directors fostered patience and listening skills. He also learned how to adequately fill himself up in order to pour into others. Team collaborations opened him up to accountability, seeking advice, and listening to the perspectives of other people.
“I hate to even imagine who I would’ve left Grace being had I not worked with GIP and Kearstin and the Student Involvement team,” he says. “It was hugely transformational in so many ways.”
The similarities between doing youth ministry and a GIP leader extend beyond dodgeball for Roberts. “In both cases, there was a sense of shepherding people towards greater appreciation for Christ and living life as he says.” He sees the most overlap in vision casting, organization, communication skills, leadership, and financial management. In the overall scheme of things, Roberts recognizes that even if he didn’t work in a church, he would still be ministering to those around him and using those skills to help others.
Encouragement for those wanting to get involved with campus clubs
Roberts’ main piece of advice is to pursue all things with bravery. This means not getting caught up in the “what ifs” of life and thinking of how many ways you might fail. If something doesn’t go exactly your way, look at it as an opportunity to learn how you could improve. Most importantly, be consistent in your character. “People are more prone to trust someone that they see is consistent in all areas of their life,” says Roberts.
Here at Grace, we have students all over campus who have been impacted by their involvement in campus clubs. Whether it is in residence life, student involvement, or as a student ambassador, you too can learn positive lessons from anywhere you choose to serve! We believe that getting involved in the campus clubs is one of the best ways to grow as followers of Christ.
Are you a prospective student? Fill out our Lancer Application!
Are you a current student? Check out our Clubs and Involvement Opportunities to learn how to get started today!