About this time last year I was a little over a month away from graduating from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan (where I grew up). I was really excited to be done with my undergrad studies and couldn’t wait to take the next big step in my life: earning my Master of Divinity at Calvin Theological Seminary, beginning in the Fall of 2011.
Then, a few weeks before graduation, I received a phone call to come to California and spend a year as the High School Youth Leader here at Granite Springs Church. Without hesitation, I said “Yes.” And so I informed Calvin Seminary of my decision, and packing my bags, I headed westward. So, for the last nine months or so, I’ve been serving as our students’ leader—hanging out with them, getting to know them, planning events for them, and teaching them about what it means to follow Jesus in their day-to-day lives.
Well, these nine months have gone by incredibly quickly, and I’ve loved every minute. But as this year draws to a close, going to seminary has once again begun to form along the horizon of this great ministry journey I’m on, and I’ve felt a call to make my way east again to Michigan to continue my ministry training there.
So, a few months ago I re-applied to Calvin Seminary, filled out my FAFSA, and have been accepted into the M. Div. Program for the 2012-2013 school year. Needless to say, I accepted their acceptance, and will be moving to Michigan this coming August.
As I write, I’m hearing many of you asking the obvious questions: “So what’s next? Who is stepping in to take over when you leave?” Well, I have an answer to that question—and his name is Braden Kok.
Braden is graduating this May from the very same seminary that I’m heading off to, and upon graduation, he’ll be spending two and a half years here at Granite Springs as a resident pastor, which means he’ll be planting a church in Sacramento in the coming years.
During his time here, he will serve as our youth leader. Braden is a veteran youth pastor of a large and growing youth group in Michigan, and we’re excited about all the experience and energy he’ll bring to our group here at Granite Springs.
It is our hope as a church that this transition will go as smoothly as possible—and we believe that it will. I’ve personally had an incredible time out here in CA getting to know our students, and I know that Braden will have just as incredible a time. This is a fantastic church, and its students are some of the coolest students I’ve ever known.
Thanks for being awesome,