This morning I had the opportunity to sip some joe while hanging out with one of my OLD pastors. Okay, he’s not so old, but he is truly the first Pastor I called “my Pastor.”
I was saved at age 17, through Young Life (well, more like, through Jesus, the Holy Spirit and God the Father), but He used Young Life and Malibu. I then had a senior year with a great Youth Director discipling me and the other senior guys. I then went south to The Master’s College for my Freshman year of college. I attended a very large church for most of my Frosh year… Great teaching from Dr. MacArthur, but never could call that place “home.” Then I got the bug. The youth ministry bug. I came home and did an unofficial internship back at the church I attended for my senior year in High School. During that summer I knew I needed to pursue being involved in the local church youth ministry scene (I was a YL leader my frosh year). So, upon arrival back at school, I looked for a home church…
In late September of 1992 I pulled into Live Oak Elementary school. Ironically enough, I met a young man, Jeramy Clark, that day as well (washing our hands in the bathroom to add a strange twist). Little did I know that Jeramy would later become one of the best friends a guy could have nor did I have any idea I would end up being the Youth Pastor at that church: Lake Hills Community Church.
I attended Lake Hills 3-4 times before I asked the Pastor if I could get involved with the youth. He said, “Sure you can get involved, we have 3-4 jr. highers, they don’t have anyone leading them, go start it.” Huh? A 19 y/o sophomore in college start a youth group? It would help you to know that Dave was only about 27 at the time and his elder board was also 3-4 young men (young people don’t always make the wisest decisions). So, in November of 1992, with about five of my college friends, I started ROC (Reach Out for Christ). I think the first week we had more staff than students. Slowly, over the course of the next three years we grew that little group, started a high school ministry and even a Sunday School class that students loved coming to! But as I look back, I can honestly say that I also experienced my first shepherding from a Pastor.
Today, I got to have coffee with that Pastor, Dave Devries. He and his lovely bride, Deanne (and daughter Maddie… son Doug is in school in NY) have moved to Seattle to be a coach and shepherd to church-plant pastors. What a great call, the NW needs Jesus, and in turn, more churches. I’m thankful the NW Pastors will have Dave around and selfishly I’m stoked to be in closer contact and sharpen one another!