Every week this year we are exploring the theme of “The People.” Today we jump in with…
“The People I like working with”
Jen Van Camp has been the youth pastor at Nineteenth Avenue Baptist Church in San Francisco, CA for over 8 years now. She grew up in Lexington, KY, and is a graduate of Cumberland College and McAfee School of Theology in Atlanta. She loves her niece and 3 nephews, her little dog Chito, all things music, pop culture trivia, and of course, Kentucky basketball.
First of all, I want to give a shout out to my pastor, who I am very blessed by and thankful to get to work with. She is wise, patient, and has more life and ministry experience to draw from than I do, and I’m thankful that she shares that with me. She spent many years as a youth minister before becoming a senior pastor and so she has that wealth of knowledge, and is always willing to offer help and advice, but never pushes them on me. She is there to debrief with and bounce ideas off of and to challenge and encourage me as well, with whatever ideas and issues may come up. We work on things together because I want her to be involved in the lives of our youth and for them to be involved in the life of our church and to have a good relationship with her. She and I always try to be on the same page and I feel truly supported and empowered.
Secondly, I really like working with our Ministry Leadership Team at our church and am grateful for them. These are the leaders in various areas of our church and we meet monthly to discuss the ministry of our church and any issues or major decisions that may come up. They are always encouraging and supportive of me and of the student ministry at our church and are willing to make them a priority. They do this financially when we talk about our budget, with their time and energy, as many of them are or have been youth parents over my time here, and with their support and enthusiasm for wanting the youth to participate in every aspect of our church. The youth help lead in worship in many ways, help with the nursery, and basically are given every opportunity to truly be a vital part of our church community. When we decided to start doing our own youth camp a few years ago, we had nothing but support and I am so grateful for this leadership team’s openness of heart and mind.
I feel truly blessed to work with so many people I like on a regular basis and for their support and encouragement to not only be extended to me, but to all of our students.