A little over a year ago, my life looked very different. In May of 2019, I graduated from Samford University and shortly thereafter moved to New Jersey, taking the next step toward serving the church by attending seminary. Not long after this, I proposed to my wife, Hollie; and just as we began to plan our wedding, the pandemic hit. Before I knew it, I had moved back to Birmingham and the whole world had changed. Now, a year later, another change has come and I’m happy to write to you all as IPC’s new Director of Youth Faith Formation.
If this whirlwind of a year has taught me anything, it’s that God is always up to something and the future is never certain. We never really know where we’re going but thankfully, we know who goes with us. Our job is to faithfully follow His lead and walk through the doors He opens. I’m very grateful that the latest door opened for us is to join the IPC family. As I reflect on this, I’m reminded that God opens doors and goes before us because of one life-changing truth; in Jesus Christ we belong to God. We are never alone in this world and we are never outside of the loving concern of our heavenly Father. I never could have predicted that my first two years after college would play out the way they did, but God had plans which were far better than anything I could imagine.
As the new Director of Youth Faith Formation, my hope is that the youth of our church will come to know that they too belong to the maker of heaven and Earth. Their lives are not an accident, and their future isn’t unknown. Everywhere they turn, Christ is with them, ready to meet them with love, mercy, and friendship. They belong to God and to the people of God as well. My prayer is that our ministry is a space for all youth to grow into this simple truth. I’m confident that Christ will meet us and do "far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us" (Ephesians 3:20).
I’m so excited to begin this work and fellowship with you all.
Say hi to JD at firstname.lastname@example.org.