Ever since Pastor Sam has decided to resign from youth ministry effective June 30, both Pastor Lee and I thought a lot about whom we should hire as our next youth pastor. It is not that easy to find a good youth pastor. And for our church, it is even more difficult because of the unique situation and ministry we are in and do. Since we are doing youth ministry together with the KSC and it is extremely essential for the youth pastor to fully be able to communicate with the parents to have an effective ministry, we have to find someone who is bilingual. Moreover, this person needs to have a very good understanding of house church ministry because both congregations are based on house church ministry.
We also desire our youth pastor to be someone who is passionate about teenagers and whose life circumstance can fully support him doing the ministry. Teenagers are going through a particular time in their life when they are figuring out and establishing their self-identity, discovering meaning and purpose in life, looking for a role model to follow and laying down a firm spiritual foundation that will last throughout their life time. Therefore, we would like our youth pastor to be someone who is able to spend lots of time with the students who can also confidently say to them, “Imitate me as I imitate Christ!”
After thinking and praying to God for some time to show us a person who can fill this very challenging position, God has brought a person from the KSC to Pastor Lee’s attention. His name is Jabez Kim and he is currently serving as a house church shepherd that is made up of only singles. He is married to Jamie and they have a two year old daughter named Priscilla.
Other than both of them being bilingual, this couple is polar opposites when it comes to their life background. Jabez grew up in Houston and had a very rough childhood. He dropped out of UT Austin in freshman year and he has been working ever since as a waiter, Radio Shack manager, Spring Branch Honda manager and Samsung’s quality assistant manager recently. However, whatever he did and wherever he worked, he put in his best and experienced much success.
Jamie, on the other hand, grew up in an ordinary family in New Jersey and was always an exemplary student. She is working as a pharmacist at Texas Children’s Hospital and has become the youngest person to be promoted as a manager. One interesting fact about Jamie is that she initially came down to Houston just for a few years to experience and learn about house church ministry to bring it back to Northeast.
The past four years Jabez and Jamie have served as a shepherd couple, they were able to multiply twice, saw 30 of his members getting saved and 28 getting baptized. They are currently serving a house church that has more than ten members. They are known for feeding their members extremely well and speaking the truth in love to their members.
The fact that they are different from each other could have synergistic effects in doing youth ministry. As they serve various different kinds of students coming from diverse family backgrounds, they will most likely be able to understand and relate to them better due to their differences.
When Pastor Lee approached them to think and pray about serving as a youth pastor, they took it to heart and prayed for two weeks. From their shepherding ministry experience, they have come to the realization that these young adults have much pain and hurts from their teenage years. And they felt that it would be so much better if they can serve even younger students so that these pain and hurts can be minimized or even avoided. They sensed that it was God inviting them to get involved in His kingdom work by serving our youth students.
Pastor Lee and I had an official interview with the couple several weeks ago and we both felt that they would be a great youth pastor couple for both congregations. There will be Q & A on Sunday, April 10 for the KSC parents and anyone who is interested in getting to know the candidate better. New Life will have our own Q & A with him on Sunday, April 24 at 1:30pm. Everyone is welcome!
Jabez will enroll himself in an undergraduate biblical studies program at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Houston starting from this fall. And if all the Q & A’s go well, he will start working from May 1 overlapping two months with Pastor Sam for transition.
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