CCO staff member Jim Hagan was formerly a Director with the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Legislative Affairs. Today Jim works with students at Georgetown University and American University.
For many years, I represented aspects of U.S. foreign policy to Congress as a Director with the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Legislative Affairs. At the State Department, my phone rang all the time and I liked that. There were constant requests for us to explain ourselves regarding our programs and our reactions after incidents and situations abroad. I worked on Western Hemisphere issues and later on Sub-Saharan Africa. My job was mostly reactive, whereas campus ministry is much more proactive.
Since I am creating a ministry from the ground up at Georgetown and American universities, I need to experiment, see what works, and maintain sustainability. It’s much more challenging. As a campus minister, I am the one initiating calls and meetings with others. I have to make things happen or they don’t get done. It stretches me, as I have to be more creative to be successful. For the past 25 years I’ve been working within huge institutions with many resources. It’s like I’ve jumped off the pier into Lake Tahoe—a shock to the system but refreshing!
What I like the best about the CCO is the CCO’s commitment to honoring Jesus’ lordship in every area of life. As sinful people, we create systems that are inconsistent with God’s mercy and justice, systems that start in our own hearts and spread out; thus, the individual and the corporate nature of the fall. Happily, on the other side of the cross and resurrection, we see the reversal of this condition with the individual and corporate nature of redemption. God has it all covered—He’s our all in all. Sharing that message gets the blood flowing!
The other attraction is that the CCO works with all Christian denominations and I like that. Working with all types of Christian churches is good for us and the opportunities to learn, grow and work toward unity should be treasured. I’m Anglican and I can’t tell you how much I am sold on our expression of Christ’s body but different Christians feel the same about their church. We are called not just to tolerate and respect, but to love despite differences. This aspect doesn’t limit but expands where we can go.