Thursday, March 02, 2006

242 Community Church

I am the new Student Ministries Director at 242 Community Church in Brighton, MI. Check out their website 242 Community.

It all kind of just happened, I don't know if there is any other way to describe it. Quick history: I have been a youth pastor for 11 years...some call me the "Larry Brown" of youth pastors, the fact is, I have been around... if you know what I mean. We started at our first church in 1995 at good old Covenant Community in Redford (I don't think they have a website), then we went to
  • Ward Presbyterian
  • (I was only their Sr.High Interim Director), then we headed north to
  • Shepherd Fellowship
  • in Waterford, then headed over to the
  • River Community Church
  • , then it was on to
  • NorthRidge
  • and now 242. I never wanted to become a youth pastor who stays 2 or 3 years then jets, but that's how it has worked out. It actually took me a long time to come to grips with that. For a long time I beat myself up, others did the same and I really felt like I let down God, the churches I worked for, the students, my family and the local woodland creatures. A mentor finally sat me down a couple of years ago and said, stop beating yourself up, there is nothing you can do about the past. He also said something that's stuck, God has created every one differently...some are creators, some are developers and some are managers. I am definately a creator/developer and that's what I do well. I love to dream big, get it going, build a team, and replace myself as a leader. So how did I come to 242?

    We left
    NorthRidge Church in June of 2005 to start
  • Project311 Ministries
  • , a non profit, support the church ministry. Our dream for P311 is that it will be a "practical help" for youth workers. That's one my huge passion areas and one of the things I love to do...Help. What does it mean to offer Practical Help? Well, P311 wants to help by providing teachers/speakers/worship teams for youth ministries, by connecting with and connecting youth workers to each other through lunches, gatherings, forums, and training events...and our dream is host some events for youth workers to bring their students to. We hosted a music festival last summer called Blitzfest (we had skillet, grits, john rueben, stellar kart, starfield, kids in the way, tait, pillar and about 60 other bands) and our dream someday is host a conference for Jr. high students called...OH SNAP. So, I started raising support and started teaching at camps, mission trips, retreats, churches, etc. About 4 months in, finances were tight and because we already started out in the hole (Blitzfest fell about 1000 people short of what we needed), the financial pressure was intense! I have never had headaches like that before, stomach problems, you name it, it was intense. God always provided for our needs but we started falling way behind and the financial pressure was crazy. On top of that, I have always taken for granted that the churches that I have worked for have provided my family medical insurance, I just took it for granted. I will never do that again. It is so expensive and we have a child with PKU and we can't be without insurance and making that payment every month has been incredibly difficult.

    So we started praying, and we really felt like we needed to find other employment. A position that would give us some financial stability, some flexiblity to love the local church and would allow us to do what we loved, work with students. But, we had a little struggle, because Project311 is just now started to build some momentum and we didn't want to call it quits on 311. So we prayed about finding a church that would be flexible with Project311. I also did some praying at that time about working in the "real world" and even applied to be the Detroit Tigers mascott, yeah, funny story. But I believe God called us to 2|42 and opened the door for us to be here. From the beginning it felt like a perfect fit, a great fit. When we first visited, Tracie and I just felt at home, our kids loved it, the worship was awesome, the teaching was out of this world and they just did everything so well. All for a church that just turned 1, yeah, how sweet is that! So, we did the interview process and they offered and now I have started. My prayer is that we can build a healthy Student Ministry and it will give Project311 some credibility because we are in the trenches of day to day youth ministry. I pray that I will give everything I have to 242 and build a healthy ministry. So, there it is. My next post I want to talk about my some ways I would like to start this ministry and some commitments I have made to make sure that is a healthy ministy and that Project311 would never be a hinderance to 242.

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