Interview: Tom Bengley (Intervarsity Christian Fellowship)
Today I interviewed Tom Bengley, one of the leaders of Intervarsity Christian Fellowship. It was a little difficult to determine exactly who I should be interviewing for this organization. The first person from IV who I asked about an interview said something like, “You could interview me, or maybe Tom, or Keith too.” I finally picked one and did the interview, and found an organization in strong contrast with the last one I covered.
What is Intervarsity?
Let’s see. Intervarsity is a Christian group on campus. We are focused on a personal relationship with Jesus. The main way we do that is though small group Bible studies.
Why Bible studies?
Bible studies are the only place I know to get one-on-one with Jesus, much more so than with a speaker at large group. It is more personal than something like having the relationship through a speaker.
Why are you unique among the Christian groups on campus?
We attract more introverts. I feel that Intervarsity is composed mostly of introverts, while Cru is mostly extroverts. We attract quiet people.
How does that affect your ministry?
There are good things and bad things. It is easier for us to connect to each other than if we as introverts were to go to somewhere else with a lot of loud people. The disadvantage is that it is hard to get our name out.
Much of what Tom told me was consistent with my observations of the group. Tom exchanged an awkward high-five with another Intervarsity member as she walked by during the interview. The weekly meeting was much smaller than Cru’s and there was a mood of introversion throughout most of the crowd. Of course, I don’t think any of these things are bad. If you want less of a ruckus in your college ministry, Intervarsity meets on Tuesday nights starting at 7:30 in ballroom D. The second half of the interview with Tom will be up in a couple of days.