NYWC Giveaway Winner: Rachel Hansen
We’re excited to introduce you to Rachel Hansen, our National Youth Workers Convention 2016 Giveaway Winner! She’ll be joining us for NYWC this year and can’t wait to connect with everyone attending. Here’s a little of her story:
I currently serve as the Cornerstone (high school girls) Coordinator at The Falls Church Anglican in Falls Church, Va. I’ve been working in youth ministry for 8 years, then in a year-long youth intern position, and my current position for 2 years.
What is your favorite thing about youth ministry?
My favorite thing about youth ministry is having the opportunity to talk to students about Christ on a regular basis. I love watching young women (and men) fall in love with Jesus and learn to trust Him with their life. I also love just spending quality time with teens and growing relationships with them!
Tell us about your church, your students, and your community. What does youth ministry look like in your context?
The Falls Church Anglican is an awesome church family in the heart of Northern Virginia. We have recently purchased an office building that houses our church staff and most of our ministry programs. We are hoping to break ground on a new sanctuary in the next few years. The students involved in our ministry are incredible. Each one is different and unique. We pull students into our ministry from all over our area – we reach over 15 different schools (public, private and homeschool). The community of Falls Church is diverse in that we all come from different backgrounds. Maybe people work for the government (Falls Church is a suburb of DC) and others come from all areas of the country to work in DC.
Youth ministry in my area is pretty interesting! Our students have busy schedules and are very driven to succeed. Keeping them focused on Christ in the midst of a very political and worldly atmosphere is our main goal.
This year’s NYWC theme is “ARISE: step up, step out.” Can you share a story about a time when you had to rise above a challenge in your ministry?
When I first came into my job, our church was struggling financially and they weren’t sure if they were going to have the funds to keep my position. They agreed to give me a one year contract in hopes that over that next year the funds would come in. While I was excited about serving, I struggled to really commit in the first few months. I kept hearing a voice in my head saying, “you’ll only be here a year, so why even bother trying”. I wasn’t trusting God in His timing, nor was I allowing Him to provide for my needs (or the church’s needs). Overtime I felt more and more inadequate, the lies became stronger and I felt like I had nothing to offer. It wasn’t until I was in church one day that it hit me, God was (and is) bigger than my circumstances, He is in control of what’s ahead of me and He knows what is best for me and the ministry. In that moment I surrendered my job and everything that goes with it. Over the next few months after that I began to have a new outlook on my situation. I began to see that God can use me in a short time and I started opening up to His will. I challenged myself to not let fear of the unknown stop me from what God has in store. It has now been over 2 years since I first started this job. God continues to surprise me and show up in every way.
What are you most excited about for NYWC?
I am most excited about taking the “next step” in my ministry education. I feel that I still have so much to learn about speaking, lesson planning, events and everything in between. I’m so thankful for this awesome opportunity and I can’t wait! I have a countdown in my phone, it’s definitely going to be a highlight of this fall!
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.