Bike Program Creates Momentum in Learning and Ministry

November 2, 2020

While attending an on-campus Kairos Project gathering in Sioux Falls, SD, student Jesse Rider visited the Center of Hope.  Little did he know at the time, this visit would inspire both his work as a campus pastor in Mansfield, OH, and his progress in the Master of Arts in Christian Leadership program.

Rider found that the Center of Hope’s free bike to work program provided a unique solution that could benefit the community of Mansfield.  One of the biggest barriers to employment, or keeping employment, for many there is transportation.  Through his role as the Campus Pastor for the Crossroads City Center, a downtown outreach of Crossroads Church that serves the underserved, Rider knew this need well.

After returning home, he shared the discovery with his faculty mentor, Gregg Hemmen.  Hemmen was already familiar with the bike to work program through Adam Hofer, another student he mentors.  He connected Hofer, who serves as Center of Hope’s Bike Ministry Pastor and Volunteer Coordinator, to Rider.  Through this newly-formed relationship, Re: Cycle, a free bike distribution program was born.  The program provides bikes to people who have employment but lack transportation.

Re: Cycle was designed, evaluated, and launched as Jesse integrated his role as Campus Pastor with his Kairos journey.  Much of his work bringing Re: Cycle to life helped him develop proficiency in his Master of Arts in Christian Leadership program outcomes while continuing to serve in ministry.

“For several months now, Jesse has worked on the development of the Re: Cycle bike ministry.  It has really given traction to the church he serves, the community in which he lives, and to himself personally,” said Hemmen.  “We’ve spent quite a bit of time over the past few months talking through all layers of this new ministry.  The idea is not all that novel – get bikes to people who need them for work transportation – but the way he and Crossroads Church have done this from a systems perspective, a collaborative leadership perspective, and a posture of empowerment for those who are struggling is now causing them to evaluate other ministries in the church.”

One of the most invaluable resources for Rider as he integrates his ministry and studies is “the ability to network and hear from other like-minded professionals” with whom he can discuss logistics, processes, and ideas.

Through Kairos, he was challenged to develop Re: Cycle by looking at multiple angles of the program and developing and implementing processes and strategies to make Re: Cycle sustainable.  Now, the program is making a difference in the community and in the lives of those who serve through the program.

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