Last week I wrote extensively about my adventures of leading a student ministry for the last year. I also shared what I was looking for in a new Student Pastor. So, I thought I’d take just a minute and introduce him with the community here. Three weeks ago, I hired Chris Parker as the new Student Pastor for Gateway Church and I’ve never been so excited. I’m excited to pass the mantle of responsibility for sure, but I’m excited for what NextGen ministry at Gateway is going to look like in the coming years.
Chris Parker is a young buck, which has many advantages. Being in his early twenties, he will easily bring a younger perspective than I could being in my mid-thirties. It also creates a great environment as I feel that we’re intentionally investing in the next and younger generation of leaders at Gateway. I feel that it’s important that we not just grow old as a church, but we continue to hire and invest in younger leadership.
Chris is from Austin, but spent the last 6-7 years in Wheaton, IL where he got his degree at Moody Bible and experience at Wheaton Bible Church. Chris has been on staff in the High School ministry for several years, and for the last few years, he’s led the ministry to 300+ high school students who call Wheaton Bible their home church.
Chris and his wife bring significant experience in student ministry for being so young, but I’m really excited about Chris’ heart for families. He has a great vision and passion for generational ministry and what that means in the context of a NextGen ministry. I feel like we’re about to build something significant here at Gateway and the future looks brighter than ever. I thing we’ll have our challenges along the way, but I think we’re ready.
Chris recently launched a blog, Life of a Youth Pastor. I follow a handful of Student Ministry blogs as I believe they help provide a full perspective of ministry to students and kids. I definitely recommend adding his blog to your blog reader! Welcome to Gateway Chris!
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Sounds like a good hire for you. My very good friend is the Middle School guy at Wheaton Bible. If Chris is half as gifted as Scott, he’s your man!
Scott is like a brother to me – we have shared many ministry experiences together over the past few years. I will miss him and his family!
He’s a real pal. Blessings on you and your new position in Austin!
Awesome! I went to Moody with Chris! We had many classes together and got to know his heart and passion for students to know the Lord. He is a solid man of God and I’m so excited about his future at Gateway Church!! So cool to see a familiar face on here!! 🙂