1) What is Your Name?
2) How old are you?
3) Tell us a little about your family?
I am the youngest of 6 children. I have a sister who is currently serving in the Army in Iraq. My brother Ted is the senior pastor at Living Way Church in Garland, Texas. I have a beautiful wife, Heather, who is a Jr. High teacher and we have an amazing 8 month old daughter, Paige.
4) What is the Name of Your Church?
Westmoore Community Church (or WCC for short), in Oklahoma City, OK
5) Does your Youth Ministry have a name? If so, what is it?
Currently it is R.E.A.L. (Radically Extreme Acceptance & Love) Youth. Just click the youth link on the main church website.
6) What is your role in the ministry?
I am a full-time volunteer who supplements ministry by working a “real job.”
7) How long have you been at your present church?
3 years as of January, 2004.
8) How long have you been in Youth Ministry all together?
9) What is your greatest passion in Youth Ministry?
To become an international star on the speaking circuit or see the amazing power of Christ put to work through teens. Whichever.
10) What would you say is your "life verse"?
1 Corinthians 2:9 “…no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.”
11) What is your passion in life?
To get teens to recognize their need for Jesus and for them to allow Him to do His work through them. To celebrate what Jesus has done and is still doing for me and let everyone know that He wants to do the same for them.
12) Share one ministry highlight for you?
It’s often said that we aren’t building godly teens but godly adults – meaning that we often won’t see the fruit of our labors. Not too long ago I was watching the news and there was a story of a bad wreck that happened and miraculously no one was injured. It happened to be one of my former students that is now in college and he was interviewed about the wreck on TV and said, “You never know when it might be your time so you’d better be right with God.” WOW! He was listening after all!
13) Share one ministry lowlight for you?
When one of my student’s mother (and a good friend of mine) was killed in an automobile accident. I had just started tutoring her daughter not long before that and she told me that I was her answered prayer.
14) What have you done in your ministry that has had the greatest impact on students?
I think the honest and blunt frankness of telling students how it is. The thing that sticks out the most is when we were going through the Good Sex series. I asked how many of my small group of high school boys wanted to get married. When everyone raised their hand I told them that whenever they are with a girl and things are getting hot and heavy and they are wondering how far is too far; to stop and think about how far they would want someone to go with their future wife. That really stuck with some of them. The frankness part they really respond to. I remember the shock on their faces when I plain as day told them that no matter how cool it may seem to sleep around in high school (or after for that matter) that deep down, nobody wants to marry a slut.
15) What is something in ministry that you would warn others to NEVER do?
Besides Chubby Bunnies? Never neglect to double check locations of events. Just because you’ve been to the same conference at the same place for the last 3 years doesn’t mean that they won’t change it on you. Then your hotel ends up being 15 miles from where the event is. What a fun lesson that was to learn.
16) In a sentence or two, what is your definition of a "successful youth ministry"?
A successful youth ministry to me is one where the youth are setting the example in the church of (our core values) protecting the unity, growing spiritually, serving faithfully, and giving generously.
17) In your opinion what are some of the biggest needs of teens today?
Fathers who are positive role models. They need someone other than a parent or peer who will help hold them accountable for their actions and be a mentor to them in Christ Jesus.
18) What advice would you give the teens of today?
Listen to your parents. They have been your age but you have never been theirs!
19) If you could tell parents ONE thing, what would it be?
Don’t forget that they have such a profound influence on their children. More so than I ever will.
20) What book(s) are you presently reading?
Just finished "Messy Spirituality" by Mike Yaconelli (GREAT BOOK!). I am now reading "Twelve Ordinary Men."
21) What would be the top 3 books you would recommend?
1) “Messy Spirituality"
2) “To Kill A Mockingbird"
3) “Tuesdays With Morrie"
22) What two movies would you most recommend to other youth workers?
1) The Passion
2) Dead Poet’s Society
23) Who is your favorite musician/music group?
Wow – that’s a tough one. I don’t know that I could single one out (besides of course Sean Gutteridge, our worship leader and a good friend of mine at WCC). A few would be Mercy Me, David Crowder Band, Delirious, Chris Tomlin, Third Day and of course ALABAMA!!
24) Who has been the biggest influence on you in youth ministry?
Mike Yaconelli. WOW!
25) What direction would you like to see your ministry move toward?
Heavenward. Come back any day now Jesus.
26) What is the most significant thing God has taught you since being in Youth Ministry?
Not to make youth ministry my personal ministry. There is a bigger picture at work within the church and that there are things that come before my ministry.
27) Youth ministry involves a lot of doing and giving to others. What do you do in order to get fed and encouraged?
I talk to my wife and play with my daughter. Spending time with them I realize just how blessed I am.
28) If you could have done three things differently when you were a teenager yourself, what would they have been?
Not waited until I was 25 to go to church, I would have focused a lot more on grades than girls, I certainly wouldn’t have huffed gas – that was just plain stupid!
29) What would you say are three to five MUST-HAVE resources for every youth worker?
1) A supportive senior pastor
2) Exceptional volunteers
3) Good curriculum
5) A place to meet are also helpful.
30) Have you contributed anything to the YM Exchange on Pastor2youth.com?
Yeah, just one (under lessons – Gotta Have Faith)
31) How could we pray for you and your ministry?
Just follow the example in Col 1:9 “For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.”
32) Would you be willing to share a picture of you and/or your group with us?
This was taken at our most recent Christmas party. I’m hard to see but I’m the guy way in the back right with the black beanie on. Click Here to view the full-sized picture.