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Advice from pastors on the Northwest Region

February 1, 2016

As we begin the month of February, the year 2016 is still young—there’s more than enough time left to make this your best year EVER. We reached out to pastors on the Northwest Region (including several alums) to ask for their advice to students seeking transformation in their relationships with Christ. The response was phenomenal! So many, in fact, that we couldn’t fit them all in one place. We think the advice they gave is relevant no matter what age you are or where you’re at in your spiritual walk.


“One of the most difficult things in our journey with God is creating balance. We live in a world that is consumed by family, friends, social media, smartphones, work, school, and many other extra curricular activities. All of it consumes our day to day lives. Try creating a regular schedule and be dedicated to it as much as you can. Within your day should be the things you have to do, with the things you enjoy doing, but making sure that God gets to be "first" in all you're doing each day. Giving time to prayer, devotions, and being lead by Spirit will allow you to truly be fulfilled and complete each day.”

James Lounsberry ('04)
Youth Pastor, West Valley Church of the Nazarene (Yakima, WA)


“Someone wise once told me that if you want to grow spiritually you must push hurry and worry out of your life. When I find myself needing to create more space for peace and growth, I let Philippians 4:6-7 roll through my mind as a prayer. ‘Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God your needs, and don't forget to thank him for his answers. If you do this the peace of Christ which is far greater than the human mind can understand will keep your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus.’”

Jerry Kester
District Superintendent, Washington Pacific District Church of the Nazarene (Olympia, WA)


“Begin your day talking with the Lord. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you and leave room for Him to speak and love you.”

Joy Streight
Lead Pastor, Castle Hills Church of the Nazarene (Boise, ID)


"I'd encourage you to practice silence. In a world so loud and bombarded with options for noise, we tend to be fearful of being left alone in our thoughts or posture ourselves for silence and make space for the Lord to deposit in our lives in fresh ways. Through silence we open up channels within our deepest selves that move us to moments of vulnerability that can be very fruitful. Making the time can be the most difficult, but it's totally worth it.”

Keegan Lenker ('01)
Lead Pastor, Gig Harbor Church of the Nazarene (Gig Harbor, WA)


“This year choose one thing that could help you draw closer to Christ. It could be starting a simple daily devotional like “Jesus Calling,” reading through Proverbs with one chapter a day every month, starting a prayer journal to celebrate how you see God at work, being intentional to begin and end your day in conversation with God, finding and meeting with a mentor, serving in your local church … the list is endless. The biggest mistake we can make is thinking we have to do it all in order to grow spiritually. Keep it simple. Find one area that excites you and see how your life can be shaped and changed with God this year!”

Stephanie Johnson ('04)
Co-Lead Pastor, Kennewick Nazarene Church (Kennewick, WA)

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