Interview with Holly

Learn more about Holly’s story and thoughts about youth ministry.

Why do you invest so much time and love into young people?

I want to invest in young people because the same “investing” brought me to Christ. I had many older people in my life who loved me in the midst of my hurting and overall teenage experience. Their intentionality is what showed me Christ’s love, and I believe He put each of them in my life for that reason. This taught me the impact of good Christian role models on the lives of young people. I want to be able to give that same love and mentorship to kids now. I want to show them that there is a Savior who loves them so much, that He was willing to die for them. 

What do you hope to get out of an internship at Covenant Bay?

My hope is to grow roots within the camp community. I want to create lasting relationships with the kids who come and the people who support this camp. Alongside this I want to create a space for kids to continue to come as they are without fear of rejection. A space where they can show up and know they will be cared for and loved. Loved not because of what they’ve done but because of who they are, and who their Savior is. 

What else will you be doing this fall?

I will be continuing my Bachelor of Theology. My degree is in Youth Ministry with a minor in Pastoral Care and Counseling at Vanguard College in Edmonton. I will be living in Edmonton with two of my best friends and our cat (Chuckwagon). I hope to continue volunteering at Beulah Alliance Church as a Youth Leader. 

Where or in what capacity do you see yourself serving after school/next 3-5 years?

I wish to work year-round, full-time, in Camp Ministry at Covenant Bay Bible Camp. Additionally, I hope to volunteer at my home church Brightview Community Church. 

Share the story about your call to ministry.

It was not some big lightbulb, sky-opening moment if I’m being honest. For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to be a teacher. I loved teaching kids and teenagers and I was told that I was quite good at it.

When I enrolled in a leadership training and discipleship program at a camp on Gull Lake, I realized how much I loved Camp ministry and what it did. The more I took my faith seriously, the more ministry looked like a real option. As people in my life began to tell me how much it made sense, the pieces started to click together. When I was accepted into Bible College I was certain that this was the call God had placed on my life. 

Do people need to invest more in young people? Why or why not?

Yes. Young people get told that they are the future of the church. While I agree to an extent, they are part of the church currently. Discipleship with young people needs to start early. It needs to not just be within Sunday School and Youth Group but within the larger body of believers. We need to help them understand why it’s important to serve now because they have gifts and talents that can be used to further the kingdom as well. With this also comes the drop off of teenagers that lose community once adulthood begins and youth group ends. Many of them are not prepared for the whiplash change from youth group to Sunday church service. They are often the forgotten demographic within churches. Many of them move to university and college, but they are still in need of discipleship and intentionality through that. 

When do you come to faith? Tell the story. 

I came to faith when I was 14 and started to take that faith seriously when I was 15. I did not grow up in a house that went to church or really liked church all that much. God, to me, was less like a friend and more like a cruel dictator. The beliefs I was taught as a child led me to become angry with God and I had a warped perception of who He was because of the life He had given me.

When I was 12 years old, my parents stopped living together and my dad and I moved up to Pigeon Lake. This was, in my 12-year-old mind, the end of the world as I knew it. I was incredibly angry at the world, myself, my family and God. How could a good God disrupt my whole life? When I started middle school, I was determined to keep to myself and coast through it. However, if anyone knows me, it’s hard for me to keep my mouth shut. Eventually, I made some friends, and was invited to a local youth group by a boy I thought was cute. After begged my dad to take me to church on a Friday night for youth. When he dropped me off, I was riddled with anxiety and thought I might’ve made a mistake. However, very quickly, I was welcomed with open arms.

Even though I had tough questions and too much energy, I was shown a type of love I had never seen or experienced before. These people barely knew me, and they loved me? That couldn’t be true, and yet it was.

My Youth Pastor, Andrew, answered my tough questions. I couldn’t argue with the answers they made sense. So, I started to contemplate that what I grew up believing about God, and Church was wrong.

Alongside this, one of my youth leaders, Robyn, was one of the biggest pushing factors in my faith journey. She showed me unconditional love, and lived a life that was imperfect but with faith I had never seen before. She taught me that I didn’t need to be perfect to come to Jesus, I just needed to show up.

This brought me to an impromptu baptism in 2018 when I was 14. When I was 15 I attended Gull Lake Centre, a summer camp my Youth Pastor recommended. They had the LTD program, which was a leadership and discipleship program. It brought me closer to God than I had ever been, and highlighted my call to camp ministry.

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