Story - Brandon + Carol K. - as told to Audrey Mercier.
Brandon and Carol Kelley are no strangers to The Harbor Church. Having met and previously attended in 2008, with Pastor Marvin as a spiritual father ever since then - it’s just like coming home. As I sat down with Brandon and Carol, I wanted to learn not only what their journey has been thus far, but how their desire to see youth reach their potential is a calling they are most passionate about.
After traveling for a couple years after getting married in 2009, they found themselves just living life, chasing after the American Dream, yet underneath the life they had made for themselves they always knew that they had a great calling. God never stopped tugging on their hearts, and when they planted themselves back in Louisiana, God began to open ministry opportunities for them to speak into the lives of youth.
Brandon and Carol both agreed that one of the greatest joys they’ve experienced in youth ministry is when they see the next generation fulfill the calling God has placed on their lives. Carol said, “Our heart is really to invest in the next generation. You don’t get anything good unless you invest in it. We are investing our time, but we know that it’s going to a good foundation, and these kids are completely worth our time.”
The youth are not simply a number or just a guest that attends church. They have made it a point to convey that they want to make the youth feel like family and that they can count on Brandon and Carol. Whether it’s going to a school play or having dinner with them, they want to develop a genuine relationship with the youth around them. Because in the midst of a fatherless generation, both Brandon and Carol realize that now more than ever, this generation needs hope, truth, and the opportunity to encounter God to cultivate a real relationship with Him.
The biggest takeaway from our conversation, was that Brandon and Carol are all in. They know that the opportunity to speak into the lives of this generation as Youth Pastors is something not to be taken lightly. The goal isn’t just seeing the youth grow in numbers. The goal is to see this generation become equipped, encouraged, and set-free to fully pursuit God and share His love with everyone around them.
Brandon and Carol may hold the title of Youth Pastors, but the focus isn’t a title; the focus is that God has entrusted an incredible generation to them, and Brandon and Carol will have a constant pursuit to guide, teach, and be the push these students need to go after all that God has for them.
“I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” Philippians 3:12-14
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