Curt Vanderstelt, youth pastor at Mariners, found a heart for his ministry when he was a teen-ager.

“I had a youth pastor, Chip, that came to our church during a very important time in my life,” Curt said. “Chip’s influence and example showed me God’s love in very tangible ways. He lived a life of faith; his consistency, his message, his lifestyle. All those things were what God used to draw me into faith in Christ,” Curt explained. “Because of his work in my life, when I came to faith at 16 years old, I asked God to give me an opportunity to change a life like Chip had changed my life.”

And Curt’s prayers were answered. “Having a heart for seeing students to come to know the lord. This has been my focus for 30 years,” he said.

Youth Ministry Vision

Mariners wants every student on the Coastsideto have an opportunity to hear about the message of Jesus Christ by graduation. “That my foundation, and from there I build up,” Curt said.

“I see a real need for building community in our students’ lives. Everything in the culture currently is based on individualism and operating in silos. But students thrive when they have a community of people around them who encourage them, love them and support them. It’s in community that we are encouraged to be our best selves: to walk in faith, to love mercy and to walk humbly with God,” Curt said.

“Having students reach out to their peers and having students be an integral part of the leadership of the youth ministry, of the direction and mission, those are all element that will get us to the place of community that we need to have”

How New Wave Will Help

“As community is built and more kids are coming and bringing their friends, we’re going to need the space so that community can take root,” Curt said. “And we need to find adults who can give their time to students and help build that community, so that all the kids of the Coastsidecan hear the message of the gospel.”

By Dan Page, Volunteer Storyteller