Faces of ThereforeGo Summer, 2016

The following is from our Spring 2016 magazine. To view the whole magazine, click here.

Tyler Gaastra

Beckwith Hills Christian Reformed Church

Grand Rapids, MI

Q. What do you do in your free time?

A. In my free time I read history, philosophy and theology books and visit Civil War sites.

Q. Where would you like to travel someday?

A. I’d like to do a Reformation History Tour: Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands and England.

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

A. Embrace change and technology.

Q. I never leave for youth group without my _____.

A. Wife.

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

A. I like to have students over to our house for movies, sporting events and swimming.

 

Lesli Van Milligen

CrossPoint Christian Reformed Church

Brampton, ON

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

A. Probably doing some type of youth ministry re-visioning retreat on behalf of Faith Formation Ministries. Many churches are rethinking their approach to youth ministry and I enjoy coming alongside them as they brainstorm new ways of reaching their youth.

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

A. Any place with good coffee or interesting food—Student’s choice. I like them to introduce me to places that they enjoy and where they feel “safe”. They will want to introduce me to their friends or they will choose a place where they have the freedom to talk and not be recognized. I always make sure that their parents are aware that we are meeting and where.  

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

A. I find out what they are reading and read it myself so we can talk about it.  We often had students share music, TV shows or movie clips with the group, using a rubric we put together as a group to help students talk about why that particular piece of pop culture was relevant to them and to dissect where it supported or challenged their faith.  Great discussions. 

Q. What do you do in your free time?

A. Because we love to cook, when we are not having folks over for a meal, my husband and I are working through a list of 501 must see classic movies.

Q. Where would you like to travel someday?

A. I would love to return to Spain. I studied and interned there on several occasions. I even preached my first sermon in Spanish while working with youth outside of Madrid.  

 

Kevin VanderVeen

Covenant Christian Reformed Church

St. Catharines, ON

Q. What resource has inspired you for ministry lately?

A. I have been journeying through the Ridder Church Renewal through Western Theological Seminary. The process has been inspiring and encouraging.

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

A. At home, sitting by my fireplace, reading Scripture. Saturdays are my Sabbath.

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

A. Giving, athletic and sensitive.

Q. What do you do in your free time?

A. In my free time I play hockey, exercise, host friends at my home or support my youth by going to their games/events.

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

A. Love them and listen to them. The most important part is being present with them and leading them into the Word of God.

Faces of ThereforeGo – Winter 2016

The following is an excerpt from our Winter 2016 Magazine. To view the whole magazine, click here

Aaron Au

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

A. One of the incredible Farmer’s Markets that we have in Edmonton. I love the local produce and goods.

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

A. I often meet students (or anyone for that matter) at our local, neighbourhood coffee shop, the Carrot Arts Coffeehouse. Our neighbourhood plays such an integral role in the lives of my wife and me and our church plant and the Carrot is one of the hubs of our neighbourhood. In a community that is struggling to overcome poverty and crime, it’s fun to bring people into a warm, safe, inviting place and show them what our neighbourhood is really about!

Q. What resource has inspired you for ministry lately?

A. I’ve been loving the many resources that Tim Keller has on the Gospel in Life website and their new YouTube channel. I’m learning how, as a church planter, the message I preach and the ministry I live has to be grounded in the truth and expressed in love and grace in a way that makes sense for the culture we’re in and connects with people’s hearts.

Q. What do you do in your free time?

A. I love my sports! I play goalie in ice hockey and also enjoy cheering for the Blue Jays.

Annika Bangma

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

A. On my family’s farm, having coffee with my husband, parents, and grandfather – and planning out weekend projects; which could include anything from fixing fences, to mucking out a chicken coop, to refinishing antique furniture.

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

A. I have come to the conclusion that, for the most part, I don’t have to do much to “stay relevant”. I simply need to form caring relationships with students and they will KEEP me relevant (and they are also quick to let me know when I’m missing the mark)! In practice, this means taking a caring but “unknowing” stance and letting them see that I am actively looking to learn about their world – asking them things that aren’t immediately obvious to me about their choices, likes/dislikes, etc.; and showing up at the events they are involved in (concerts, games, etc.).

Q. What resource has inspired you for ministry lately?

A. The list of ThereforeGo Serve Outcomes. 2016 will be the first summer that our church is hosting Serve in many years, and we are utilizing the Outcomes to set the tone for our entire ministry year.

Q. Where would you like to travel someday?

A. My husband and I have a goal of visiting every United States National Park in our lifetime. Sixteen down, forty-three to go!

Natasha Veder

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

A. I talk to my own youth! It’s more important to me to know what my own students are into than the general teen population, so I find out what movies they’re watching, what music they listen to and attend some of their sports games and school performances.

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

A. The first place you’d want to look would be my couch or kitchen at home. If I’m not there, check my local independent coffee shop, a nearby thrift store or I might be hiking one of BC’s beautiful mountains!

Q. What resource has inspired you for ministry lately?

A. Transforming Discipleship by Greg Ogden

Q. What is one website that you visit every day?

A. Facebook – I get world news updates, updates on my students lives, learn about youth ministry resources from my colleagues in other churches and can keep in touch one-on-one or in small groups with my students.

Faces of ThereforeGo, Fall 2014, Part 1 of 2

Ryan Link

Ryan Link | Youth Unlimited | High School Summer Mission Trips

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

A. Usually, I’d be just beginning some sort of project around our house or yard unless it’s the first Saturday of the month. Then, our family would be at Home Depot with a billion other kids suffering a headache and sore fingers from pounding wire thin nails into craft projects, but my wife and I enjoy it. We really do.

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

A. We have a great restaurant at a local golf clubhouse that I like to take students to. It has a really cool atmosphere and students feel very comfortable there (and the food is great!). Most students expect Burger King or Juice Stop (which are ok), but I like to treat them to something special so they feel that our time together is important and valued.

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

A. I go right to the source. I spend a lot of time intentionally listening to what our students are interested in – what video games they are playing, the music they are listening to, their favorite movies, etc. I follow their Twitter and Instagram feeds, join their Clans in Clash of Clans, etc. Then, I incorporate themes and ideas from these things in my messages and lessons.

Q. What do you do in your free time?

A. It is important that my free time is spent with my wife and kids. Ministry often demands you make a lot of sacrifices of your family for the benefit of other families, so I enjoy spending time with my wife and kids doing activities that they enjoy doing. We play a lot of games as a family and enjoy the beautiful park system that Sioux Falls has to offer. If I do steal some time to just myself, I could probably be found racing RC Cars at the local track or working on a model train layout I have in my basement.

Q. What is one website that you visit every day?

A. I go to www.regonline.com to check up on our Sioux Falls Serve information. Who doesn’t visit this website every day?

 

Sonya Wubs

Sonya Wubs | Youth Unlimited | High School Summer Mission Trips

Q. I never leave for youth group without my…

A. Dodgeball game face.

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

A. I asked them and this is what they said: Motherly, Caring, Compassionate, Friend, Cheerful. (Note: I didn’t even bribe them!)

Q. What resource has inspired you for ministry lately?

A. Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne, Elastic Morality: Leading Young Adults in our age of Acceptance by Chris Thompkins and Building a Youth Ministry that Builds Disciples by Duffy Robbins.

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

A. Our fundraisers are pretty typical: meals, cookie baking, movie nights, yard sales. However, in 2013, in Canada, the government phased out the penny. So, we took it as a great opportunity to do a penny drive. We spent a very long time counting the pennies that came in afterwards. We raised over $150! That’s a lot of pennies.

Q. What is one website that you visit every day?

A. I often visit these blogs: http://www.emilywierenga.com/ and http://www.aholyexperience.com/. Oh, and of course Facebook.