This last year of ministry has held much variety and many constructive challenges for me. Besides the usual routine work that is part of the program, such as church member visitation, staff and board meetings, Bible studies, and helping with the Collegiate Sabbath School, I have also been involved in several other ministries as well, including ministering through music in church services and other occasions, occasional preaching, and a youtube ministry. Pastor Jeff Kinne, my mentor has provided me with plenty of pastoral wisdom through our weekly conversations and I believe his mentoring has helped me develop a ministry style that is effective, but suits my personality as well. The Youtube ministry started with a discussion at staff meeting about how we could use more electronic avenues for notifying people about Village Church events and spreading the gospel to a wider range of people. Pastor Kinne assigned me the task of checking into it and, after some networking and meetings, we decided to venture out with this new approach. We have posted both devotional videos and promotional videos for Village Church events on the channel and through the process, I have gained many pointers on how do better handle a Youtube ministry. It has been a learning experience for me and we hope for further development in the future.
Besides this new ministry, I have mostly been engaged in Bible studies, preaching, and visitation. The Bible studies were generated through a mass mail-out of Bible study request cards In Walla Walla. Then Village Church’s Bible Work Coordinator, Jon Jerinette, assigned different people to delivering the studies and asking If people wanted personal Bible studies with church members. I delivered several studies and was able to schedule a couple studies in people’s homes, Meeting people who were interested in finding a deeper bond with Christ and sharing messages from the Bible with them has blessed me spiritually, has sharpened my communication skills, and has aided my knowledge of the Bible. I can also see the helpful Influence it has had on the Bible study interests; they appear strengthened and comforted to be able to study with someone who shares their Interest in spiritual things.
My preaching has mostly consisted of sermons for the early service at Village Church once every other month. But I have also had the opportunity to preach at several other smaller churches In the valley that are in need of guest speakers. The regular exposure to preaching in a church setting has been very helpful in developing both my delivery and sermon-crafting skills. Through a variety of pursuits and opportunities, this year has provided a great deal of education and growth for me as a developing minister and I hope to continue this trend through the summer and next school year.Chad Angasan Pastor Mentoring Program Final Words A Closer Glimpse
I have had the privilege to work with 5 intelligent and curious people: David, Anna, Chris, Jasmine, and the bigger Anna (she is 4 years older than the first). The two main kids I’ve been dealing the most with are David and his sister (the younger Ana). They come from a broken home; therefore they have to live with a foster parent who is a member at the City Church. They both attend WAHIGH which is the Walla Walla Public High School.
When they first came to our Sabbath School they didn’t respond to the church culture in a positive way. If one could guess, they didn’t even want to be there. So they were present out of obligation. Then, after offering to take them out to eat a couple of times, getting to know them on a personal level, trust began to build. Since I studied Spanish as a part of my degree, I talked to them in their native tongue for they come from a Mexican heritage. This really started to intensify a good friendship with them; for after a couple of months with them, they started looking up to me as if I was their older brother.
Toward the last couple of months spending time with these two, they have grown from going to church as an obligation to asking countless questions about the story of Abraham, David and Goliath, Jonah, and Moses. They would ask me to quiz them about these stories, and were fascinated how God had worked through each character; especially when we related them to everyday life. They became excited about the Bible; for it was starting to become alive! These two kids have not only been changed by the love of Christ, but without even realizing it, they have changed my life. Their passion and growth has been an inspiration to me; which has built up an even stronger motivation and passion for me to continue work like this. If one were to measure the progress that these kids have made on a scale of-S (being the worst, and not wanting anything to do with Jesus) to +5 (already baptized and being a disciple), I would have to say that they went from a -3 to a +3. They don’t want baptism quite yet, but they have definitely received a closer glimpse of what Christ’s love is and how he is working in their lives through the Word of God. Amen.Casey Bartlett Pastor Mentoring Program Year story
While actual stories of positive happenings were few and far between this year, it has ended on a very exciting note. As Pastor Kris and I have looked at and discussed the Jr. High Tuesday night program High 5 we saw a few areas on which it could be improved upon. We also noticed that there is a group that comes to High 5 which is then absent at Sabbath School and a group that comes regularly to Sabbath School but is absent from High 5. This is a problem that we want to work on for the next school year.
One of the ways we have discussed in integrating Tuesday night with Sabbath Morning is to make the name High 5 signify not just the meeting we hold on Tuesday night but rather the identity of the group as a whole. Jr. High ministries is High 5. The space we occupy is not the Jr. High room it is High 5. This way we have some identity coherent in both groups. Another way to integrate them is to make the activities of the two flow better. What we do on Tuesday night will have something to do with what we do on Sabbath morning and vice versa. This way someone coming regularly to only one of the two meetings will have missed out on something. Guests will be accounted for in this scenario so the meetings will not be confusing or pointless to someone who did not attend the other meeting. Another way to integrate them will be to reduce the total number of staff for Tuesday night from the current 14 to about 6 and raising the level of expectations for them during the week. They would not only attend Tuesday night for a few hours but would be expected to be visiting the schools where the kids are attending and interacting with the kids and they would be expected to regularly attend Sabbath School. This would create an environment where the kids have a solid mentor who is older than them to look up to and have a relationship with. This will then generate Bible Studies with the kids.
We are very excited about the next year and the possibilities it brings. Time will tell the success we achieve in our project but we look forward to it with great anticipation.Soul Winning Report Luis Contreras
I had the privilege of working with Pastor Kessle Hodgson. He currently has three churches in the Hispanic district, which allowed me to spread myself through all three churches. I was involved in weekly small groups, Bible studies, board-meetings and pastoral meetings. Each week I had about 5 Bible studies, 3 of which I am proud to say were baptized May 19 in the UCA Pathfinder Fair. I was honored by Elder Folkenberg when he allowed me to baptize one of the candidates. It was my first baptism ever, and it was a great experience. I’m very grateful to Elder Folkenberg for allowing me to baptism him. I became really close with a lot of the church members, most of them from the College Place Spanish. They were very warm and accepting; they welcomed me and soon saw me as one of their own. Most of them actually began calling me pastor half way through the mentoring program, but I told them to call me by my first name since I was not a pastor yet. The remaining of the Bible study candidates are planning of getting baptized sometime in June. We’re working hard with them and hoping they turn their lives over to Christ. We began to work with another gentleman who was struggling with drugs gangs influence. I was Introduced to him because I was heavily involved with gangs before and I was able to get out and he wanted me share how I was able to get out. All my life experiences were put into practice during this mentoring program. I also had the opportunity of speaking with some kids who have grown up in broken homes and ask me how ft was for me to overcome anger and prejudice for the parent that had abandoned them. I loved working with the College Place church, it’s an awesome church and I’m sure that whoever has the opportunity to do their pastoral mentoring program their next year will be blessed. Pastor Kessle was always willing to help, he never stopped asking “what can I do to help” and made sure everything was running smoothly. I appreciated the freedom he gave me In his church to gain some practice. With the freedom he gave me I was able to start a Friday afternoon program with the youth to welcome the Sabbath, I was able to start Sunday afternoon activities at the park, signed the youth in a soccer league to play against other churches, started youth fundraisers, sparked interest In the Bible Bowl, I also became involved with the 2nd Generation Adventist Youth in Milton-Freewater. I preached regularly for Prayer Meeting. While I was working with the 2nd Generation Adventists in Milton, we organized a one week series and brought in Pastor Terrance from Ephesus church in Pasco. That was a great turn out too, we had one baptism.
I learned a lot from the Pastor and church members. Most things we don’t learn in the classroom, I had a great time while I was at the College Place Spanish. Thank you for Dr. Bigger for the opportunity to be at that church and for meeting with me regularly to update you of the things happening. I had a great time.Jolee Gaede Pastor Mentoring Program Year Summary Report
This school year working with the Walla Walla University Church has been blessed. I spent
significant time in almost every major area of church activity and learned a great deal about church work. One of the things I learned was to pay attention to small things. God sometimes works in great dramatic stories of quick change, but other times He works in small incremental victories.
In my work this year, I helped out with youth programs, spent time in board and business meetings, visited members, lead out in a small group, preached for an evangelistic series, and helped organize outreach opportunities for church members. In all of that work, I spent significant moments with people and was allowed to be a small part of their lives for a short time. Results included requests for prayer, smiling faces, and increased interest in bible study and discussing spiritual things. There were no requests for baptism, as far as I am aware, but I know from various conversations and observation of small reactions that God was working on people’s hearts.
I greatly appreciate the small ways God works and the opportunity to be a part of His plan for the Walla Walla community. My time in the pastor mentoring program has given me a chance to practice my skills and learn new things.
Soul Winning Report— Robert Harvey
This year I worked with Pastor Johnson in the Northside and Umapine churches I had a wonderful experience and learned a lot. One of the things I mentioned in my Soul Winning Plan was that I would be involved with a Share Him series, what I did not know is how involved I would become.
The plan was that I would be one of the speakers for the program. That all changed when I was asked to be the host of the meetings on as well as speaking for some of them. This was a wonderful experience that climaxed when I did the sermon on Baptism. At the end of the sermon I made a call and two people who had already told us that they would like to be baptized came forward. No one else was coming so I started my prayer and when I opened my eyes from praying I saw that two kids had joined us up there. It was a wonderful sight. Two weeks later the couple was baptized. They decided to be baptized at the same time so Pastor asked me to help him by being there to help them out if he could not lift them out himself. It was such an amazing experience I cannot think of anything more worth the time than seeing lives given to Christ.
Pastor Mentor Austin Nystrom
This year with the City Church has been a great one. I learned a lot through the leadership role given to me by my pastor/mentor and good friend Doug Brown. I learned about some of my weaknesses and he helped me realize a number of strengths as well. It helped me to see that in pastoral ministry I will need to better my organizational and planning skills. It also helped me realize that the gift God has given me to connect with people from lots of different walks is one that is vital to how I will be used by Him and I have been able to cultivate that and apply it to ministry through this unique program at the City Church.
I thank God for the opportunity to have been a part of the youth ministry at the City Church and am realizing the connections I made there are ministry opportunities that will long outlive my stay at the City Church. Even though I no longer even live in the Walla Walla Valley I still keep in contact with the youth who I connected with there. I still receive calls from them, one recently came out of the blue from a girl, a non-member who was in a dark place in her life and knew through her experience at the City Church that I was someone she could trust with her baggage and seek spiritual guidance from. More recently a young man who has been a regular attendee but if the staff of the youth ministry team were to be honest we didn’t have too much hope for as far as spiritual interest goes, prayed with me for the first time. I prayed with him and blessed him and after I finished I looked at him to see if he might be interested in praying as well and he looks at me and says “Ok, here goes, I’ve never done this before.” What a blessing to be a part of helping unchurched, uninterested, unmotivated youth start to get a taste of hunger after God. I have been thoroughly blessed by my experience at the City Church and thank you all for making the opportunity a requirement and a reality