Thursday, August 16, 2007

Interview with Stephanie Riebe - Hillsdale Free Methodist Church - Associate Pastor of Youth

What made you want to persue a career in youth ministry?

Before my freshman year in highschool, I really felt the Lord calling me to full-time Christian ministry. I was involved in a youth group as a high schooler where I was given a lot of leadership opportunities as a student--this affirmed a love for youth ministry for me.

What type of education did you receive to become a youth pastor?

I attended Hillsdale College where I received a bachelor's degree in Christian Studies. As a Christian Studies major I was able to take great courses on the Old and New Testament, Church history, etc. I also interned in the HFMC youth ministry throughout college, which also gave me some great expereince working with teens. I am currently,working slowly but surely on my Master's Degree through Spring Arbor University & possibly also with Huntington University.

What is your motivation for being a youth pastor?

My motivation is my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I want teens to help discover their relationship with Him, NOW when they are young. It is the most important thing and I love to see how the Lord lives and works in young people.

Could you describe what your job is like?

Honestly, my job can't be described in words. Its not just a job it's a life. It runs 24 hours aday 7 days a week. I am here for the teens of the HFMC and for theteens of Hillsdale County. I organize weekly youth events, a volunteer youth ministry adult staff, the HFMC college student ministry, and dozens, and dozens of little things that come up within the adults and students in the youth ministry every week.

Who are some of your spiritual influences?

Both of my grandfathers---I had special relationships with both of them. My Grandpa Riebe showed me how amazing God's word is at a young age. He spent hours and hours with me on his lap reading scripture to me as well as reading books like The Chronicles of Narnia and The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis. He loved growing in the word & he helped root that love in me. My Grandpa Wantzhad spent time serving the Lord in missions. His involvement inmissions had a huge impact on my heart and my desire to serve the Lord through missions---He lived his faith in every action, every word thathe spoke. He had an amazing love for the Lord and an amazing heart forservice. I was really blessed to have had such wonderful relationships with my grandfathers as spirtual mentors.
Others that I respect: Ruth & Billy Graham, Rob Bell, Keith Porter

Is being a youth pastor a good way of staying young at heart or young in mind?

Both. But I still like to think I'm still fairly young...:) Check backin a few years.

Being a recent college graduate, does that help you relate to the youth you are working with?

In some ways, yes it does...I can better relate to what they are facing...but in other ways it's a challenge because I have to work harder to gain respect as an adult in leadership to them.

What challenges do you find working with todays youth culture?

The greatest challenge is that today's culture is all about catering toevery indviduals every possible need or desire. Teens want to beentertained 100 percent of the time. In a very "me, my I" drivensociety it creates challenges in creating a 100 percentChrist-centered ministry...however, HE makes it possible. All thingsare possible through Christ who gives us strength!

What advice would you give someone interested in pursuing a job in youth ministry?

Spend time as a volunteer. That is the best way to get a real taste of what it is like. Pray. Spend time in the word. Find amentor within ministry to gain council and instruction from...continue this process and the Lord will open the doors necessary for you to then pursue it full time when He is ready to use you!

Thank you for your time, Stephanie


Post a Comment

<< Home