Youth leader talks ministry, living for God
Sunday, June 24, 2012
Aaron Anderson loves his job. As the lead youth pastor at Cape First Church in Cape Girardeau, Anderson, who came to Cape Girardeau from California, leads several ministries for the church's young people. In this week's Ministry Focus, Anderson tells us what led him to the ministry and what events are coming up at the church.
Q: Tell us a little about yourself.
A: My name is Aaron Anderson. My wife, Kinu, and three kids, Kyle (13), Caleb (10) and Emma (7) landed here in Cape Girardeau from a little town called Hemet, Calif., about four and a half years ago. I currently have the privilege to serve on the Cape First staff as youth pastor overseeing over 200 students in the area.
Q: How long have you been a member of your faith?
A: I was born and raised in my faith but made a true commitment at age 13.
Q: Who or what inspired you to become a youth pastor?
A: I am not sure if there was that moment or person that made it clear for me, but rather more of something I just was. There is not enough time to explain, but my plan was significantly different than what I live out today. I led worship for many years in both youth and adult services and there was something stirring in me about being a part of the solution to all the pain I was seeing. Catching students during a time where it mattered, during a time that maybe I could help mold their futures.
Q: What's the greatest blessing you've experienced in the ministry?
A: There are many, so that's a hard question, but honestly the biggest would be that I am here today doing this interview, being able to say that I get to do what I love, what I was called to do and being surrounded by an incredible team. Not many can say that.
Q: What's the greatest challenge you've experienced in the ministry?
A: I would have to say the challenge of patience. My wife and I are those kind of people that want to change the world (really!) and to make change in a culture and generation that gives a lot of resistance to that is a challenge. I mean 13-to-18-year-olds have a lot to deal with as it is, then you add the dynamic of unlimited (right now) resources and it takes a bit of time to see the effects of all the blood, sweat and tears.
Q: What upcoming events or sermon series do you have scheduled at Cape First?
A: We keep quite busy here at Cape First. To kick it off as a church, we have the Heartland Conference on July 11 to 13. We have special guests coming in from across the country who lead us in worship as well as bringing a life-altering word. A sermon series I am currently doing is a slogan my wife and I came up with "Say No to the Hypo," urging a generation to say no to hypocrisy and say yes to integrity in following Christ on and off the church scene.
Q: Does the youth group have any big trips or other events planned for this summer?
A: Well, my wife and I along with an amazing team started something called project573 about six months ago. This project's goal is to bring all believers together no matter the denomination; to have opportunity to serve and worship together as one. We hope to cultivate that idea more this summer with worship nights and community events. One in particular is called The Flood. It is a night where the best of the best worship leaders in this (573) area come together to offer a night of full-on, heart-melting worship. Then, we wrap our summer up with a missions trip in Louisville, Ky., where we team up with other Assembly of God churches from around the country to serve big in that area.
Q: What's your favorite Bible verse and why?
A: Romans 1:16. "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ." It's who I am, and who God has called me to be. I am not ashamed.
Q: What makes your church unique?
A: Passion for excellence. Now, don't take this wrong, we are not perfect people. But in everything we do we are taught (by our pastor) to do it with our whole hearts and with unwavering passion; to love big, to serve big, to encourage big and so on.
Q: What ongoing ministries does your church have that people might be interested in?
A: There are many opportunities to learn and to get involved: small groups, Sunday worship services, youth worship services, men's and women's gatherings, missions and more. Information is available on our website and Facebook page: www.capefirst.org, www.facebook.com/CapeFirstChurch, www.facebook.com/FreedomRock.