Posted date: 24 Jul 2014
An interns view of a year at CVM
My year at CVM
It seems odd to think that just over a year ago I was working in the St Thomas’ coffee bar making top-notch cappuccinos and million dollar lattes. Of course I never planned on leaving my dream job at the coffee bar until the day Ben Harding marched in to order his usual bacon sandwich and a cappuccino with 3 shots of caffeine. He mentioned that over at CVM they had an intern program and they had a space to fill. A brief chat about what it involved and some thought provoking questions later, I found myself with the ball deep within my side of the court, and me needing to make what would turn out to be a life changing decision. I was told to think about it pray about it.
Two days into my first week and I hit the road with Carl (CEO of Christian Vision for Men). Up to Scotland to see Stephen McGuire the director of CVM Scotland. Stopping off at a church in Whitehaven on the way up giving me a chance to get to grips with some of the techniques and tips CVM suggest for winning men to Christ. Once in inverness we had a Men’s day with about 350 blokes. One thing I will never forget is the first time I heard just men singing. It is something that I struggle to explain but something you don’t forget quickly. My First week had turned into a bit of a baptism of fire but I had survived. Oh and there’s no better way to get to know the boss than a four-day, 900-mile trip to inverness and back.
As intern I have had the delights of doing a bit of everything. I’ve seen everything from the grueling moving of names and numbers from one spreadsheet to another spreadsheet; to the sending out of resources and information packs; to getting out on the ground alongside some of the lads who are doing evangelism to men in their area. As a grassroots ministry this was always the juiciest part of the internship. Seeing churches and groups of men all around the UK get on board with the vision and stepping out in their faith to see blokes lives changed in their community. As intern my role would be to assist wherever possible.
Fifteen hundred Men in a field near Swindon - that was quite something! I’m talking of course about The Gathering 2014. Where men, cars, bikes, comedy, music, God and worship all come together. Everyone who went this year has said how good it was to attend and for me it was just as good if not better being the other side of the tape. Arriving early to set up and then leaving late after pack-down, seeing it all come together really was impressive. As Carl’s runner and an indian in the CVM pack of chiefs I was kept busy. Of course there was still time to take on the neighboring campers at a game of cricket Saturday afternoon. Around 50 men made first time commitments to follow Jesus during the weekend and many more recommitting. With over 1150 already booked in for next year, TG15 is set to be the biggest and best yet. Make sure you are there next summer.
It has been a truly amazing year for me, I have grown and developed so much that my parent probably don’t recognize me and our lodger probably wonders who on earth I am when I walk in the house talking about how a load of blokes got saved over a curry after shooting pigeons with m16 machine guns they had made while doing the alpha course. Or perhaps when I start talking about the time when I went to play football at St Georges Park (England’s training ground) with Blokes in rehab. Or maybe the time when I got introduced to an ex neo-Nazi extremist now follower of Jesus. Or just perhaps when I talk of how I won the nurf gun battle in the office today. I don’t know. All I know is that the things I have seen and had chance to experience have changed my life and the way I view the world.
I would like to thank everybody who has been alongside me this past year helping me to grow in my faith. In particular a big thank you to Ben Harding, especially for prompting me to join the CVM team and then for answering all the questions I threw at him. Oh and for letting me beat him at squash on multiple occasions. A big thank you also to all who have supported me financially, without you none of this would have been possible (you know who you are).
So what’s next? Well, much of the same I hope. I am going to be staying with CVM as intern for another year as well as doing a distance-learning course with St John’s Nottingham. The course will hopefully strengthen and build on what I already know about the Christian faith. Who knows where it may then lead.
Thanks for reading,