Alumni Board of Directors: Spotlight on Jeff Swaim
Name: Jeff Swaim
Graduation Year: 1978 (CBC), 2005 (AGTS)
Major: Bible, MATS
Current Position: Convoy of Hope – Executive Director of Church Relations
City and State: Springfield, MO
Tell us about your career and what you do now.
After CBC, Kathy and I moved to Oregon where I was minister to youth and young adults in two churches for thirteen years.
In 1991, I joined the AG National Youth Ministry Staff and directed Youth Alive, Discipleship and Fine Arts. In 1996, I joined the AG National Men’s Ministry Staff and directed Discipleship, Evangelism and Leadership Training. While at AG HQ, I developed dozens of resources for the local church for youth and men’s ministry. In 2002, I joined the Convoy of Hope Team and continue to serve on the staff.
I am married to the most selfless person I’ve ever met… my wife, Kathy. My daughters, Stephanie Swaim (’03) and Lyndsey Cherry (’05), as well as my son-in-law, Jeff Cherry (’05), are all Evangel grads.
What is your favorite memory from CBC?
I have a ton of favorite memories. I grew up on campus since I was eleven. I was a gym rat and hung out with college students while growing up. It was the kindness of the students that persuaded me to attend to CBC.
Also, I loved my teachers and the staff at the school – they were definitely called to serve with a Christ-like spirit.
I had the opportunity to play on the CBC basketball team for four years. The home games were a blast in the “cracker box of a gym” that echoed when the band and crowd got going – great memories.
How did CBC help you identify/develop your calling?
The chapels, the classes, the prayer times were focused on the lost, on our preparation, on our hearts, our integrity, our purity and a life of serving others.
How did your experience at CBC prepare you for life after graduation?
I learned how to study and how to research. I learned how to organize projects. I learned how to lead while playing on the basketball team. I learned how to follow orders from the coach and my superiors while I worked on the custodial crew. I learned to honor and love those in authority.
What advice would you give a current student preparing for the workforce?
Here are the top 10 lessons I have learned:
- Develop a supreme love for Jesus above all others and all things.
- Excel in the basics for life: prayer, bible reading, witnessing and loving others.
- Stay humble and guard your heart (purity, integrity and character).
- Honor your vows and love your family above the ministry.
- Have a daily audience with God and allow His love to rub off on you so you will be the love of God to people (Jesus with skin on).
- Walk through hard times and brokenness with thanksgiving knowing that perseverance brings character and character brings hope, if we stick it out. The Bible is filled with stories of leaders who endured brokenness and loneliness…they learned to hear the voice of God and to depend on God.
- Build memories with your children.
- Catch people doing things right—it’s the lost art of encouragement.
- Say “thank you” often. Spend fifteen minutes a day writing thank you notes to people. It’s amazing what will happen in the lives of others when someone believes in them.
- Most importantly, don’t find your identity in your friends or in what you do. Find your identity and self-esteem in who Jesus is in you and who you are in Jesus. Live a life of gratefulness. It’s hard to have a bad day when one is grateful.
What would you look for if you were in a position to hire a new graduate?
I would look for someone with humility and confidence. Someone with a joyful and thoughtful personality who is also a good listener, eager to learn as well as serve. Someone who has manners and shows kindness to others. Someone who demonstrates a hunger for God. Someone who is others-centered.