1) What is Your Name?
2) How old are you?
3) Tell us a little about your family?
I have been married to Jessica Stevens for 6 years.
We have 3 children: Jacob (5), Rachel (3) and Naomi Grace (9 months).
4) What is the Name of Your Church?
First Baptist Grant
5) Does your Youth Ministry have a name? If so, what is it?
SOLE Ministries 6) What is your role in the ministry?
I am a Full-time Student Minister.
7) How long have you been at your present church?
8) How long have you been in Youth Ministry all together?
I have been in Youth Ministry for 6 years. The first four years were as a part-time youth minister.
9) What is your greatest passion in Youth Ministry?
My greatest passion in Youth Ministry is to see youth embrace the reality that their faith and walk with Christ is a lifestyle, not just a Wednesday or Sunday thing.
10) What would you say is your "life verse"?
My life verse would have to be Romans 8:28 - "And we know that all things work together for the good to those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose".
11) What is your passion in life?
My passion in life is to help young people to learn to serve Christ, live for Christ and to share Christ.
12) Share one ministry highlight for you?
About 3 months ago a guy named Keith visited our Wednesday night youth service for the first time. He continued to come and became active within the youth ministry. I had finished a discussion on the "Masks" that we wear and often hide behind. I received an email from Keith a few days later stating that he had been wearing a mask and was pretending to be a Christian and that he wanted to know how to become a Christian. Needless to say, I was extremely excited! Later myself and another youth spoke with Keith and prayed with him to receive Christ. Keith has since been baptized and is now a member of our youth praise team.
13) Share one ministry lowlight for you?
The last year at camp during my first part-time youth ministry was the lowlight of my ministry experience. That year, everything seemed to go wrong. The pastor's grandchild fell down a hill, hit his head on a railroad tie and had to be taken to the emergency room for a concussion. My best friend and his wife both went on the trip as chaperones. By the time we got back, one week later, she had organized a meeting with all the parents to discuss all the "mistakes" I had made during camp. Needless to say, I lost my best friend during the process. After I resigned from there and moved to Alabama, we renewed our friendship and are best friends once again.
14) What have you done in your ministry that has had the greatest impact on students?
Probably the single most important thing that has made an impact on my students is building relationships. When you spend time with youth, they begin to trust what you say, teach and begin to see that your relationship with Christ is real.
15) What is something in ministry that you would warn others to NEVER do?
Never try to be the youth's "best buddy". It will only bring harm in the end. During my first ministry, I thought I had to do this in order to gain their trust and favor. The problem with this philosophy is that when it comes time to discipline, they will not listen to you because you are just a "friend". God did not call us to be "cool", he called us to make disciples.
16) In a sentence or two, what is your definition of a "successful youth ministry"?
A successful youth ministry is one where the youth are becoming actively involved in the ministries of the church, inviting their friends to come and they are sharing their faith with their friends and family.
17) In your opinion what are some of the biggest needs of teens today?
I believe that some of the greatest needs of teens are in the areas of self-esteem, sexual purity and learning responsibility.
18) What advice would you give the teens of today?
If everyone in your life abandoned you, know that Jesus will always be by your side. In the midst of the storm, allow Him to be your peace and strength.
19) If you could tell parents ONE thing, what would it be?
You as a parent are the single MOST important influence in your youth's life, therefore you MUST set a Christ-like example before them; don't expect me to raise your child for you.
20) What book(s) are you presently reading?
40 Days of Purpose
21) What would be the top 3 books you would recommend?
Unfortunately, I do not like to read books. I have many books that have been given to me that have great looking covers, but I haven't actually read them. Maybe one day, I will develop a desire to read.
22) What two movies would you most recommend to other youth workers?
1. The Passion of the Christ (in theaters on February 25, 2004
2. X2 - X Men United
23) Who is your favorite musician/music group?
Big Daddy Weave
24) Who has been the biggest influence on you in youth ministry?
My youth minister when I was a teen. God has brought him and I together in the fact that our church has just hired him as our new Senior Pastor. How cool is that?
25) What direction would you like to see your ministry move toward?
I would like to see the youth of SOLE Ministries become a lighthouse to the youth in our community.
26) What is the most significant thing God has taught you since being in Youth Ministry?
He has it all planned out, that plan is perfect and that He is still in control.
27) Youth ministry involves a lot of doing and giving to others. What do you do in order to get fed and encouraged?
I enjoy the National Youth Worker's Convention and my children and wife are the biggest encouragement in my life.
28) If you could have done three things differently when you were a teenager yourself, what would they have been?
1. Set a better example as a young Christian.
2. Remained sexually pure (not just being "technically" a virgin)
3. Drive slower as to avoid the 5 times that I went to driving school.
29) What would you say are three to five MUST-HAVE resources for every youth worker?
1. Media Shout
2. Adobe Photoshop
3. Youth Specialties Website
4. and of course, the Pastor2Youth Website!!! (Editors Note: We did not add #4 nor pay him to say that *smile*)
30) Have you contributed anything to the YM Exchange on Pastor2youth.com?
Yes, I have contributed several games, backgrounds, and a Fundraiser Spreadsheet.
Editors Note: You can access Michael's contributions to the YM Exchange directly here:
1. Fundraiser Spreadsheet (.zip)
2. Video Scavenger Hunt (.zip)
3. Eagle and Flag (.jpg)
4. How Are You Doing Today? (.jpg)
5. Ocean Boxed (.jpg)
6. Purple Background (.jpg)
7. Purple Chrome (.jpg)
8. Purple Haze (.jpg)
9. Vortec Space #1 (.jpg)
10. Vortec Space #2 (.jpg)
31) How could we pray for you and your ministry?
That God will show me how to truly disciple students in a manner that would be pleasing to Him.
32) Would you be willing to share a picture of you and/or your group with us?
Sure. This photo was taken during our winter retreat to Breakaway Ministries. I am the guy in the green sweater with a yellow stripe. Click Here to view the full-sized picture.
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