InterVarsity Alumni - Allen Daugird

What training in leadership, evangelism, or Bible study did you receive through InterVarsity?

Chapter training sessions and chapter meetings; Regional InterVarsity Conferences, Summer 1972 InterVarsity chapter leadership camp(where I met my wife); regular mentoring sessions by InterVarsity staff worker (probably the most important of all)

What have been the hardest things about the transition from college? The biggest surprises?

Hmmm. That’s a hard one because I left 30+ years ago. One parable of Jesus that I’ve thought a lot about is the one of seed being sown on different kinds of soil. The one soil that has always seemed the biggest danger for me (and so many American Christians) is what happens when seed falls on thorns: those who hear the word, “but the cares of the world and the delight in riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.” Our American lives are so busy, and as a physician this is especially true. What does it mean to be fruitful in that context? What do we-I-need to do to keep cares and riches from choking the word in my life?

The biggest surprise: that you spend so much time and worry raising your kids to get them safely to adulthood, and you think you’re done. And then they become adults, and you can have a relationship with them as adults. It’s been one of the biggest unanticipated joys in life for my wife and me. In our case, we have three adult children that we not only love, but like very much and enjoy spending time with (and a son-in-law, daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren).

Is life after college different from what you expected? In what way(s)?

Actually, we’ve been blessed with jobs, friends, ministry opportunities, geographic experiences way beyond our dreams. Life is beyond what we dreamed.

Did you make a career decision as a result of what InterVarsity taught you?

I ended up trying to decide between going on IV staff and going to medical school. It was actually my IV staff worker who helped me through that decision and made me realize how medicine could be part of God’s Kingdom. There is no such thing as “full time ministry”. We’re all called to be full time followers of Jesus and Kingdom citizens.

How do you feel that your involvement in InterVarsity prepared you for your life after school?

It was instrumental. My whole notion of Christian community, Gods kingdom, and what constitutes the world order was forged because of my involvement in IV.

Since graduation, how have you filled the need for community that the InterVarsity chapter offered during your school years?

First, by making a conscious bilateral decision with another Christian family to be intentionally committed to each other. Don and I did our Family Medicine residency together, and our wives became best friends during that time. We decided we wanted to practice together, and have worked together since 1980 in three different places.

Our families have lived near each other (twice across the street) and co-parented 6 children between us. We have had Sunday evening prayer for our families and kids for years (and over the last decade have included a third couple), especially praying for our kids and now more for our aging parents, and each other as we deal with our roles in those relationships. And of course, churches and at times small groups other than our Sunday evening group.

How do you seeing God using you in your current situation at work? In the church? In your family?

At work, I am a senior leader in a large public academic health center (medical school and hospitals). We are in the midst of a growing crisis of cost, access, waste, ineffectiveness, and disparities in our American health care system. I see my role as an opportunity to be an instrument of God’s grace and truth in a large organization that has the potential to improve the health of hundreds of thousands of people and to be an instrument of mercy and grace. But there are so many forces working against that, including evil ones.

In the church, I have been involved in leadership at our local church as an Elder and in trying to forge a relationship between our local church with two South African churches, which came out of some time my daughter spent there doing volunteer work.

I am intrigued with the Emergent Church movement and the implications for the church of the major cultural and generational changes that we are experiencing. I see the Emergent Church movement with hope as a prophetic voice to American Christians to not be choked by thorns.

In my family, I see my role with my wife as being instruments also of God’s grace and truth mainly to our children and their families, but also to extended family. I realized a long time ago that the most important things I will leave for this world are my kids. We purposely try to carve time out to spend time with them. And do lots of praying.

What are you still learning?

About God’s grace, and how little I know of it and trust it. I somehow think I must try to earn it, to be worthy of it. I have so much trouble just accepting it, and the fact that God loves me. Period. Not for anything I have done or will do. But in spite of it. Jesus is the incarnation of that.

Do you have any advice for new graduates?

Know that God loves you. Find a few other believers you can be real with, love, and be loved. Take risks with God, and learn to accept His Grace. Know that the American church has not always gotten the Kingdom right, but neither have we, so forgive them both.

Allen Daugird attended Northwestern University from 1969-1971, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) from 1971-1973 and UNC medical school from 1973-1977. He was UNC chapter president from 1972-1973. Allen and his family live in the Chapel Hill area. He was interviewed by InterVarsity staff writer Kristine Whitnable.