I was so excited last week with the announcement of Evan O’Rear as our new youth minister.
As many of you know, in addition to being “the preacher” I have a daughter who will be in the youth group next year so this was especially important to me. I was able to see the resumes that were submitted and, while there were a number of excellent candidates, I believe the correct choice was made for a couple of reasons.
First, Evan is already a part of this church. That’s a big deal. In addition to having grown up here, Evan and his family have come in and immediately been a part of us. That’s a great thing. You always wonder when you have a new hire if they will be a “fit.” One advantage we had with Evan was we already knew the “fit” was there.
Second, Evan wants to be a part of this church. I can’t emphasize that enough. So many youth ministers are looking toward the next placement, the next church or the future career that they are interested in. For a church like ours, many times we are a “stepping stone” on their way to bigger and better things. While I understand that, it’s exciting to know that Evan and his family want to be here. They are not looking down the road. That means that the continuity in our youth program can be there for a number of years. That continuity is truly important.
Finally, and probably most importantly, Evan has a heart for discipleship. After talking with him I was thoroughly on board and excited about the possibilities he offered our youth and families. He wants to lead kids to Christ. He wants to help strengthen families. Instead of being about the next great program or the next hip thing, Evan is a guy who want to help students and their families grow deeper into a relationship with Jesus. That’s one of those things that you can’t teach. He can learn things about youth ministry. He can learn things about education. But that heart that yearns to disciple young people is priceless.
I can tell you from sitting in on the meetings that the youth committee wrestled long and hard with this decision. I know they spent a great deal of time vetting candidates and seeking God in prayer. I can tell you that our shepherds spent a great deal of time on their knees seeking God in this decision as well. And I truly believe that God has answered in a special way.
I hope you are as excited about what God is doing here at HCOC as I am. We can truly see the Spirit moving in our families and in our worship and in the hearts of His people.
Thanks for being a part of this amazing journey!