Last Sunday night, we had a meeting for parents of teenagers at North Side to make a big announcement – the person the elders are recommending for Student Pastor. Yesterday, in our services, Jeff presented this couple to the congregation. I am so honored to be share that selection with you now:
Ben & Christina Hjalmer.
Ben stepped up during this interim time as Peak Director. Ben has served as a student C-Group leader, works with teens through the Cornerstone Alcohol and Drug Abuse organization, and just is an all around great guy who loves Jesus and students very much. Ben and his wife, Christina, have been working with students since they got married, and they have done a fantastic job. Student ministry has no way lost momentum during this interim period and that in itself is amazing! If anything, I have never seen such opportunity and possibilities.
Over the last six months, our elders, a parent council, and volunteers and youth have spent extensive time revamping student ministry before even looking for a full time guy. We received @ 40 resumes, and all elders involved all narrowed the process down to the same group of guys (amazing if you knew how different we all were). We prayed, discussed, talked, prayed, thought, prayed, and finally came away with God’s leading. After all that time, we felt God was revealing to us that he had been molding the guy doing this job right in front of our eyes. It didn’t take us long to decide due to Ben’s potential, but this role is so important for our church, we wanted to make sure we did things right.
Here’s some of the top reasons I believe God has brought Ben to North Side as Student Pastor:
- He loves Jesus.
- He loves his wife.
- He loves students.
- He is a team player.
- He is teachable and humble.
- He wakes up happy to be alive.
- He loves this community and this community loves him.
- Parents asked us during this time why we just didn’t hire Ben.
- Students asked us during this time why we just didn’t hire Ben.
- We could have hired his wife.
- And the list could go on and on…
Here’s some of my promises to Ben and Christina:
- We will help them grow in Christ as they lead – I want student leadership out of the overflow. They need to be growing. That might mean that we need to make sure that they have time for C-Groups they aren’t leading.
- We will protect their family – I was so grateful this came up in the parents’ meeting. When people ask about years down the road when a family comes along, who will step in, we had parents step in and say we must protect their family, and that is our jobs as parents to be leading the charge anyway! To have parents like that is amazing! North Side, not only protecting their family is important for them and right biblically, the best example Ben and Christina will ever give these students is their love for each other (Eph 5:25). Many students will never see a loving, functional marriage in their home, Ben and Christian can provide that. As a parent, I don’t expect Ben and Christian to be at every function in the world, because their family will come first.
- We will follow their lead – Following them is huge. This task is too big for one person or one couple. It starts with parents. More than being aware, we want you at the forefront. Volunteers – we need you to step up and love these students. Do you have a place to serve?
- We will do student ministry that assists the home – We are going to come alongside parents, not replace them. Part of his job description is to equip and assist parents disciple their children. While he doesn’t have any children of his own, he can do that by administrating events and training emphases where our elders and other parents are teaching other parents.
North Side, today is a day to celebrate. God has been faithful to us yet again. I believe the best is yet to come. Pray for Ben and Christina and begin to pray about what you can do to reach the students of Greenwood.