Youth Pastor of the Month - March 2020

Posted on by YFC Seattle

Josh Deshazer - Middle School Pastor at Westminster Chapel

When did you KNOW that Youth Ministry was a CALLING for your life? 
I remember at 9th grade Junior High camp thinking one day it would be awesome to be a Middle School Director/Pastor. Youth Group was my favorite place to be growing up, when school was somewhere I felt like I did not fit in. I did not accept the call to pursue ministry until I was 21. I felt God saying I want you to do ministry. I said no. Initially I didn't feel I had the gifts for ministry. The next month God kept putting it on my heart and eventually I said yes this is what I always wanted to do and I will trust you in this. 

How are you helping guide your students through the COVID-19 crisis?
Right now we are working on figuring out systems to communicate with students without having weekly programs. Be it through hosting time on zoom, possibly creating a slack channel for small groups, and setting up times to play video games online. We hope we can communicate and support students during this time through these programs. 

Describe a time you laughed so hard you cried in Youth Ministry?
When the 7th-grade guys were acting out the prodigal son story and spent almost the whole skit on sacrificing the fattened calf. The calf had escaped out the doors and had to be carried back into be sacrificed. 

How do you help your students grow as leaders?
I try to encourage our students to try new things.  I really have had to learn to support and walk with students as they lead. Slowly giving them more responsibilities as they lead more and more. The model that has helped me the most is the "I do. You watch. I do. You help. You do. I help. You do. I watch. You do. Someone else watches." Model.

What is your favorite thing about Middle Schoolers?
The energy that middle school students bring is such fun. There is something about seeing a Middle school student feel like they have a place to belong.  Also the awkwardness of it all is super relatable.

What is one thing you wish someone had told you before beginning in Youth Ministry?
The importance of prioritizing time with Jesus every day on my own outside of ministry work. I have heard this said many times before, but not I am practically seeing the importance of this disciple.

What is your favorite TRUE statement when playing "Two Truths and a Lie"?
Either the right side of my face muscle doesn't work, or I was an uncle at age 6.

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