Nick-and-JohannaWe’re celebrating with Nick, our Student Ministries Pastor, as he and his wife Johannah welcomed their new son, Matthias, into the world January 4th! We also recently celebrated with Nick as he passed the ten year mark at Highlands. We’re so grateful for Pastor Nick’s leadership, faithful ministry, and for all that he and his family mean to our church! Pastor Nick shared a few of his memories with us, and some of the exciting ways God is working in Student Ministries:

Tell us about some of your earliest memories of growing up at Highlands? I remember sitting up in the balcony at just six or seven years old with my family listening to Pastor Wally Wilson preach in the Sunday night services. I also remember participating in Awana on Wednesday evenings with my friends.

Tell us about your family? My wife Johannah and I have been married for six years, and our daughter Cadence is now four. After Cadence was born, we were trying for another child, but through complications doctors didn’t expect us to have more kids for a long time. We are now praising God for our second child Matthias, who was just born January 4th! We are blessed with my family in the area and are excited to visit Johannah’s family in Australia this spring for an extended time with her family. We are grateful to be traveling as a family of four.

Over the years, you have had the opportunity to speak in to the lives of hundreds of students, some of whom are doing ministry now themselves: what is most rewarding about seeing students grow up through the ministry? It is a privilege to partner with parents and see God’s Word, prayer and the investment of leaders translate into young adults who love and serve Jesus. It is those times when a student comes full circle after challenges that is rewarding. For students to come back and serve in ministry, with healthy lifestyles and hearts committed to Jesus. The results on the other side, which might have seemed impossible at the time, is a testament that God isn’t finished with any of us on our spiritual journey.

One of the areas you have invested deeply in is building in to our leaders who serve in Student Ministries. What do you find meaningful about raising up leaders? For me the lightbulb comes on for leaders when we realize that we all are the church…age doesn’t matter. A ministry filled with older and younger leaders, gives younger leaders the safety net to learn and grow. It is also rewarding in Student Ministries to see students involved in teaching, leading small groups, running games and inviting friends!

What are some of the things you see God doing in the lives of students who are currently part of student ministries at Highlands? This year we have seen a continued effort by students to invite friends. For me the highlight is hearing the questions their friends ask! For example at a recent event, several students came who had never been to church. They were asking things like, what is a church? What does the building look like? Can I come if I’m not a Christian? Great questions that then our students are able to step right into. We are seeing students reaching out to their friends, and being a light in our community to those who might not otherwise be hearing and responding to the gospel.