Fall “Faces of ThereforeGo” Part 1

The following is an excerpt from the ThereforeGo Fall Magazine. To read more, click here.

Brian Bierenga

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

A. Starbucks – because the students enjoy it and I’m a sucker for earning those “stars”.

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

A. It’s all about relationship. While I appreciate the “heart” behind this question and understand that it’s a common question among youth workers, I find it a little strange. I have two kids of my own, ages 7 and 9, and I would find it strange it someone asked me how I remain relevant to them. Although there’s always room for improvement, I think most parents would say they’re able to connect well with their own kids because they’re in relationship with them. The same applies with my students; I aim to always be in relationship with them as if they were my own kids so that the connection happens naturally.

Q. I never leave for youth group without my ____

A. CB radios for the vans because they’re tons of fun. And a can of Febreze to secretly freshen up the guys’ stinky laundry piles while they’re away on free time.

Q. What resource has inspired you for ministry lately?

A. I regularly listen to the “Defining Moments” leadership podcasts from Willow Creek when I run. I’m also enjoying the book Creativity Inc. by Ed Catmull (head of Pixar and Disney animation) much more than I thought I would. In addition to some great Pixar stories, Ed has great ideas on intentionally creating the culture you want among your team.

Q. What do you do in your free time?

A. I enjoy time with my kids, running, cooking or working on my yard or car. I don’t sit still very well.

John Bijl

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

A. I would either be grocery shopping with my wife, doing weekend chores around the house or having breakfast at a local restaurant. I love going out for breakfast.

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

A. I love to meet at local coffee shops because I love the atmosphere in these places and even though coffee shops can be busy, it is still a great place to relax and get to know where the students are at.

Q. I never leave for youth group without my _____

A. iPad, which has all of my notes for announcements as well as my Bible. Once, I did leave it in the youth room while I got something from my office and I came back to a series of “selfies” some of the students had done in the five minutes I was gone.

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

A. We did an 80’s themed dessert night where the other leaders and I lip synced to a mash up of 80’s tunes. I was lip syncing Corey Hart’s “Sunglasses at Night”, and yes, there is a video of it.

Q. What is one website you visit every day?

A. I usually go to flipbook to read up on men’s health, health food or photography.