What motivates you to work with youth?
The Lord captured my heart when I was a teen. I was a difficult kid, but my parents, teachers, mentors, pastors, etc. gave me a chance and challenged me to do big things for the kingdom. I was ill equipped, immature, and had a bad attitude, but I saw huge, life-changing work of the Holy Spirit because of their willingness to invest in me. I want today’s youth to know that they matter, that where they invest their time, talents, and resources is important, and that they can make more impact for Christ than they realize.
How many years have you been in youth ministry?
I have worked with youth in various capacities since I myself was a teen. Whether at summer camps, church groups, after-school programs, and now in the Global NYI Office, I have served in various roles of youth ministry for over a decade.
What is the best book you have read relating to youth ministry?
I will shamelessly plug NYI’s new book series, BE DO GO. These books on evangelism, discipleship, and leadership development bring together a beautiful collection of diverse voices and perspectives from around the globe, providing youth leaders (and broader church congregations) with insights, ideas, and challenges for ministry. You can check them out here!
What’s the best advice you can give a youth leader?
Lean into those relationships with “harder” youth. Those kids that give you the biggest push-back or seem the toughest to connect with may need the most encouragement. Take advantage of your time with them for meaningful conversations.
What’s the best advice you can give to parents of youth?
TPray with your kids. Make it a normal and comfortable feature of your home so they will grow into natural prayer habits of their own. Model prayer as the first
What would you like the church to know about today’s youth?
They are valuable and capable. Tap into this generation to create a prayerful, powerful future Church.