Faces of ThereforeGo, Fall 2014, Part 2 of 2

Jeff Schipper

Jeff Schipper | Youth Unlimited | Summer Teen Missions

Q. What’s your favorite place to meet with students, and why?

A. My favorite place would be at a local breakfast joint (The Windmill in Holland is tough to beat). Breakfast combines three of my favorite things: coffee, food and conversations in a booth. I also appreciate connecting with students before the pace of a regular day kicks into full gear.

Q. What do you do to stay relevant to youth?

A. I never felt the need to try until recently when I turned 30. Even now that I feel a bit irrelevant, I spend my time connecting with them personally at sporting events, dance competitions and coffee shops. In my mind, being present is more important than being relevant.

Q. I never leave for youth group without my…

A. Kickball and jumbo box of sidewalk chalk. The options are endless, and lately, our kids have become somewhat obsessed with 8 or 15-square. It’s a great mixer that anyone can play. Other options include parking lot kickball or a Jerry Meadows chalk portrait competition.

Q. What resource has inspired you for ministry lately?

A. Other than the Heidelberg Catechism J, I have been spending the most time lately reading and applying Mark DeVries’ Sustainable Youth Ministry. I’ve also been blessed & challenged by Bonhoeffer’s Life Together as I think about Christian community.

Q. What do you do in your free time?

A. Free time is hard to come by as a youth director, homeowner, husband, and father of two kids under 2.5 years old. When I carve out a little “me time”, I’m probably on the golf course or downtown Holland meeting up with some guys from church.


Ellen Lyzenga

Ellen Lyzenga | Youth Unlimited | Summer Teen Missions

Q. Where could we find you at 10:00 AM on a Saturday morning?

A. If there are no youth retreats, fundraisers or leadership events, then I would be relaxing on my couch with a good book and a cup of coffee, probably with my cat sitting on my lap.

Q. If your students described you in five words or less, what would they say?

A. Best youth leader ever!

Q. What resource has inspired you for ministry lately?

A. Both Essential Church? by Thom and Sam Rainer and The Millennials by Thom and Jess Rainer. These are some great researchers and authors who examine why our young people are walking away from the church and their books are full of good information and ideas on how to connect with our youth.

Q. What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done for a youth group fundraiser?

A. I haven’t done it yet, but I want all the kids to paint a picture on canvas, something that inspires them or their favorite Bible verse or Bible story. Then we will display and sell the paintings in a silent auction.

Q. Where would you like to travel someday?

A. Turkey, Greece or Italy. I was blessed with an opportunity to see Israel with ThereforeGo a few years ago and walk where Jesus walked. Now I want to travel and see where the Apostles started the early church. I want to walk in Paul’s footsteps where he went to share the gospel and preach the word of God.