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  • Nelson Jenkins, Pastor of Student Ministries

It was either Youth Pastor or Plumber

Updated: Sep 28

People often ask me why I decided to go into youth ministry.


I started working with teens when I was a teenager myself, in 1983. I volunteered and spent a ton of time at our local church serving in the youth ministry while I served in the Air Force and attended college. The reason I chose youth ministry was because God literally saved my life through my youth group. My life had little, if any, meaning and I struggled with why I was even on this earth.


My youth leaders, youth pastor and youth group showed me that God had a specific purpose and plan for my life. I decided that if God could use me to change one life in the same way these people changed mine, that's what I wanted to do. I've been blessed to be involved in so many young people's lives for over 37 years.


The next question people always ask is, “How much longer can you do this?” I've been asking this same question myself for 20 years and still don't know the answer. As long as God gives me the ability and the church feels like I'm effective at what I do, I'll be here until God decides something different.


I believe teens want authenticity more than coolness. (Thank God, since my coolness left with my hair many years ago.)


One of my life verses has been 1 Samuel 16:7: “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.””


I want to be an authentic, real, honest, loyal and Godly example for our teens, leaders and everyone else in our church so they can know who God is and continue moving one step closer to Him.


That is why I do what I do.

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