When I sat down to interview Nathan Hale a few weeks ago, I expected to hear some good stories. Hale is, after all, a missionary kid that grew up in West Africa, a deacon and worship leader at Desert Mission Anglican Church, and a staff member in the Spiritual Life Department at Grand Canyon University (GCU).
When I asked him for his favorite story about college ministry, he hesitated, then began with a disclaimer.
“It’s not a flashy or dramatic story,” Hale explained. “When I first began working at GCU I was an enrollment counselor, and when I moved into my role as Life Leader Manager was able to stay in touch and work with many of the students I helped enroll. One of those students applied to be a Life Leader and eventually became a Head Life Leader in our Life Group program. He’s now a math teacher in a high-risk, high-need school.
“It’s one of the things that God has been teaching me,” continued Hale. “God is at work in the ordinary. He is with us in our common prayers. In bread and wine. In the waters of Baptism. This student is doing Kingdom work in his ‘ordinary’ job because of all the blessings and equipping he received in all the ‘ordinary’ moments during his time at GCU.”
Hale and a team of four equip and mentor 192 Life Leaders who are charged with leading Bible studies in GCU’s dorms. The Bible studies are optional for students, but that hasn’t stopped as many as three thousand students from attending them anyway.
“GCU students come here and find God through the relational ministry of our leaders,” said Hale. “We explore with them what it means to be a Christian and what it means to be a leader. They go on to become Pastors, Doctors, Nurses, and Math teachers. We are seeing tremendous Kingdom impact in ordinary and extraordinary ways.”