Deeper Devotion’s Kristy Smith interviews Devon Hoernschemeyer, a graphic designer for Campus Crusade for Christ.
1. Tell us what you do.
As a graphic designer for Campus Crusade for Christ, I help to create the things that are used on college campuses for outreach and discipleship. Anything from brochures to advertise a conference, to the programs used at the conference.
2. How did you find out about Crusade?
When I was a student at Miami University, in Ohio, I heard about Crusade through my freshman roommate who was going to get involved in it. I really wanted to grow in my faith and stay close to God while at college, so I knew that I needed to get plugged into some Christian group. I basically tagged along with my roommate, but it’s one of the better things I did at college. Through Crusade I made friends who supported and encouraged my relationship with God when the college environment did not-with all of the pressures to party, drink, and hook up, as well as constant pressure to do more class work and get the best grades. I was also involved in Bible studies and one-on-one discipleship through Crusade which helped ground me in God’s word and learn more about who He is.
3. How did you find out about this graphic design ministry with Crusade?
Well, it’s funny, because I definitely wasn’t looking for it… I was at a Crusade function-I think it was conference over Christmas vacation-and between speakers they had this sort of advertisement on the big screen about a Preview Weekend of Crusade Headquarters. Basically it said they were looking for juniors and seniors with specific majors like accounting, graphic design, and human resources kinds of things to come check out the place. The best part was that they were going to pay for all of our expenses to come to Orlando for a weekend. I thought, “Sweet! Free trip to Florida!” so I signed-up and was selected to attend the Preview Weekend. It was there at Headquarters that I was introduced to the Media Team-the group of designers, video people, web designers, etc. who were responsible for a lot the of visual things used by Crusade, such as brochures, booklets, videos, web sites, t-shirts, conference programs, even stage backdrops. Before that I had no idea there was a team of people responsible for all of that.
4. How did you know the Lord was calling you in this direction?
During the Preview Weekend they gave us a lot of time to think and pray about all we were learning about Crusade and their need for staff in these “behind the scenes” positions like design, human resources and accounting. I did a lot of journaling and writing out of the pros and cons of joining staff and every time I did, there were more pros.
“God really laid on me the need to use every avenue, even graphics, to effectively share Christ with the world.”
One of those was that I was hit with the incredible impact of the media on the hearts and minds of today’s generations-I mean, I saw it in my own life because I’ve always been drawn to movies, music, and magazines and I’ve consumed them like its my job. In that also, graphic design plays an important role in drawing people’s attention to a particular message. God really laid on me the need to use every avenue, even graphics, to effectively share Christ with the world. Media culture is a passion for me, graphic design a skill and a talent I love and possess…. God called me to staff by showing me how my passions and abilities could combine to be used in the ministry of Crusade.
Then, basically after being given this vision and motivation, I applied for staff with Crusade praying, “God if this is Your will for my life, and You’re calling me to this ministry, then allow me to be accepted and I’ll trust that it’s all You.” Needless to say, I was accepted and God really confirmed his calling.
5. What has it been like to raise your support? What challenges have you faced?
Raising support is one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done, but it’s also been the most amazing. It’s tough, but I wouldn’t give it up or change the experience for anything because I’ve been grown and challenged and changed personally and in my relationship with God more than ever. I’ve had the awesome privilege of tangibly seeing how God provides for his children, by watching my support come in. I’ve always had a hard time trusting God, but He’s continually proving His faithfulness to me through this support raising process.
The most challenging thing about support raising has been myself. There are many things in my own mindset that have to be broken down and overcome for the support raising to even happen. For example, my pride. I have a really, really hard time asking for help or telling people that I have a need for something. And, essentially, support raising is telling fellow believers, “Hey, I want to do this work to reach people for Christ, will you join me in doing this by investing your money in what’s being done?”
6. Why did you choose to do graphic design as opposed to campus staff?
Mostly because I had a fear of campus. I never thought I could lead a Bible study or disciple girls. I just didn’t have to heart and motivation to push past my fear. I was so design-focused that that’s what I wanted to do. Since joining staff, God has changed that, and now I would love to be involved on campus with Bible studies and whatnot, but primarily right now design is my thing. It’s quite possible that God will call me out of the design office and onto a campus full time-He likes to push us out of our comfort zones so we’ll grow, so we’ll see what happens. At least now I’m not completely set against the idea.
7. What other opportunities does Crusade offer?
In an office setting the ministry of Crusade runs just like a business. They need payroll people and public relations people, event coordinators, tech or computer people… I don’t even know all that goes on behind the scenes. It never ceases to amaze me how all sorts of talents and abilities can be used and are needed.
Beyond that, Crusade is an organization that has over 70 ministries under it’s name in order to reach out to people in different segments of society and all over the world. They have a music ministry called Keynote that focuses on forming bands to travel around the world sharing God’s message through their music. And Athletes in Action is one that is sort of self-explanatory. Pretty much in ministry, the way it goes is, if you can do it, dream it, whatever for Christ, it goes. God is an eclectic, diverse God and He made us that way, so I have no doubt that He’ll use that.
8. What sort of training is required?
The training I had was my basic undergrad schooling for graphic design and then after joining with Crusade, I had to go through six weeks of new staff training, which was basically some classes and a whole of info on how the ministry runs, the payroll process, the support raising training, and not to mention a thorough look at the beliefs of Crusade so that everyone is on the same page.
9. What would your advice be to someone who desires to use their unique gifts in ministry?
“…if God has called you to use your unique and precious gifts for Him, He will make the way and open every door that is needed. Just don’t give up when everything doesn’t work out or look like you expected it to.”
Go for it!!! There’s a possibility that your gift is already a position or has a place in some missions organization, like my graphic design talent. So it’s important to check out all the options and ministries to see what’s available and what’s being done. But maybe that’s not the case and someone’s gift hasn’t yet been tapped into. The younger generations are edgy, creative and ambitious. You want to change the world and do things that no one has ever thought of or done before and I think that’s awesome. So for that person who has that idea, desire, and/or talent to do something to further the Kingdom of Christ that has never been done, I’d say “You rock!” There will be hurdles and road blocks along the way, but if God has called you to use your unique and precious gifts for Him, He will make the way and open every door that is needed. Just don’t give up when everything doesn’t work out or look like you expected it to.
10. Do you have any advice about how one might discover what their gifts are or how to find a place to use there gifts?
That’s a really hard question for me. The thing is, I fell into my gifts not really having any idea of what was happening. But I think a great thing to do is be observant. Watch what sort of things you’re drawn to and like to do. If you like to draw, take it seriously and get into some classes so you can get better. Also, ask your friends and parents what they think and what they see about you. They’re a great way to see outside of yourself.
“The best ministry opportunity may be one that is completely unique to you and your gift.”
And as for finding a place to use your gifts…do your research. Become a detective and see what you can uncover about what sort of gifts and people are used where and when. But also don’t be confined by what is already in existence. The best ministry opportunity may be one that is completely unique to you and your gift.
Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to
– Leo Buscaglia