If you went to college, where did you attend? Oregon State University, Lutheran Bible Institute, Seattle Pacific University Did you go to youth group as a teenager? Yes I attended a youth group but it was organized by parents and not a staff person from the church. They were great people but did not teach us about being a disciple of Jesus and the importance of that. I gained a lot of friends and learned to be a church goer but did not become a Christian through this youth group experience. There was mainly others that attended youth group and church but there were not many that saw it as a vital relationship you have with God through the person of Jesus Christ. I have great “Fun” memories of youth group but I mainly learned to play the part of Christianity at church and elsewhere I was like the world. How long have you been in youth ministry? I have been in full time Youth Ministry since 1980 so I have been in youth ministry for 29+ years. I was volunteering for 3 years prior to that in various churches. How did you first get involved in youth ministry? I was on staff at the Lutheran Bible Institute as one of six ministry team members that toured north America and stayed in churches primarily doing various ministries. We did concerts, adult Bible Studies, Youth Ministries, and Family Ministries programs. It was during these two years of doing these various ministries that I sensed the call to focus in on Youth Ministries. I see even now that I am filling a void that I had in my youth group experience. I have become a person that concentrates on these very important teen years to mainly love students in this age between childhood and adulthood. I sense God calling me still to provide classes and programs that assist the work of the Lord in young peoples faith development. Be there for them, spend time with them, go to their events, be there for what happens in life. I feel this call to stand in the gap between God and these precious teenagers and college age students and tell them…Jesus is here and He is all you need to have the best possible life. Who do you look up to in ministry? I look up to Jesus. I am not saying that as a joke but I really know that the way he treated others and the methods He used in ministry is what I still strive to be. I want to so wrap myself around Him that people will see he is the model for my life…how I want to move and act in the life He has given me. What is the last book you read? Soul Cravings by Erwin McManus What has you excited about working with your group right now? The change I see in students over the years whom I have had the privilege of loving and working with. Through Facebook and Myspace I am able to write back like the apostle Paul and check in with so many I have had in youth groups. So many are now parents of small children or even teenagers and others are youth leaders or worship leaders. I love to envision what God would want to do down the road with a life that simply yields itself to the all powerful and yet content control of Jesus. What a life they can have with such simple yet life long decision. What are some challenges you face right now? A church with a hand full adults that continue to desire “power” over the humble service and support of others. What’s one thing you think you do well that other people could learn from? A life of experience serving Jesus and others. A clear sence of what God is saying to the students at this church where God has called me. What’s a word or phrase your youth group would use to describe you? I hope they would say…”The fun youth guy that is always pointing us to his Boss and Savior Jesus”
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