My name is KJ Van Ek. Some of you might remember me as last year’s summer intern from Calvin College, while others of you may have never heard of me. For those of you who don’t know, I grew up in Grand Rapids, MI, and just graduated from Calvin this year.
Last summer, Granite Springs Church played a huge part in helping me figure out what God wanted me to do with my life, and by the end of my internship, I was feeling a strong sense that I should attend seminary and become a pastor.
However, mid-application process, I got a call from GS asking me to come be the new High School and College-Age Ministries Director. California was way too appealing to say “No,” so I said “Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.”
And now you’re all stuck with me for a year.
Sam Yohannes, who is slowly transitioning out of this position, has done an incredible job joining with students relationally and walking with them through life, and his shoes will be hard to fill. However, he’ll still be around and helping out, and I hope to continue his relational style of youth ministry during my time at GS.
I also hope to build something sustainable that will be able to outlast me when I return to Michigan for my seminary education. A few of my goals are: to develop a youth curriculum and pattern of teaching, grow a team of connected leadership and volunteers, and discover new ways to involve GS youth and young adults in the larger life of our church community. I hope to do all of this and more while still maintaining an organic feel that allows for many possibilities and variations depending on who is leading the program.
Most of all though, I want to get to know the students here, joining with them as they walk through the rugged dirtiness that is real life, and by a strong Christian example and solid biblical teaching, I hope to help them discover God’s grace through the person of Jesus Christ and the work of his Spirit in the world.