Now, most of you know that we’ve been on the hunt for several months for a good youth pastor to come join our ministry team. And many of you have heard that we have extended a call to Tyler Erickson to come and be that man. Well, this week Tyler arrives, and I’m excited for you to meet him. I really believe that God has guided Tyler to us, and I know you are going to like him.
Tyler comes to us from the small Pacific Northwest town of Ferndale, Washington. (Talk about a small world, he hails from the same farm town community that I grew up in…great roots!) Tyler’s one of five children, sharing the youngest spot with his twin sister, Hannah.
As Tyler shares his story he tells about growing up in a strong Christian family. With parents concerned to see their kids get a good grounding in following Christ, they chose to home school Tyler and his sister, hoping to help them avoid some of the world’s snares that tripped up Tyler’s older brothers.
Early on, Tyler understood the gospel and opened his heart to Christ. But that didn’t spare him from spiritually wandering as a young teenager. Tyler openly admits that for several years he lived a double life, attending church with his family while at the same time embracing the worldly lifestyle of the older guys that he worked with at the local dairy.
But God in His grace kept pursuing Tyler. At age 15 he heard that his twin sister was signing up for a youth mission’s trip to Guatemala. Not wanting to miss out on an adventure, Tyler signed up to go too. And it was there that Tyler truly yielded his life to Christ. The lives of the guys and girls on that trip were so profoundly different in their care for each other and in their sincerity for their ministry that Tyler was convicted of his own need for a genuine walk with Christ. Tyler returned home, and his job at the local dairy then became his mission field.
The following summer Tyler went abroad again. This time to El Salvador. And given the opportunity to share a gospel message there, Tyler saw such a wonderful and God- prompted response to that message that it gave him a hunger to pursue more ministry training and further opportunities.
A year’s internship with the Reid Saunders Evangelistic Association followed where Tyler had many more opportunities to share the gospel message, and many responded in faith. Further encouraged, Tyler enrolled at Corban University in Salem, Oregon to strengthen his ministry preparation. There he completed a Biblical Studies major and served as a Youth Ministry intern at Morning Star Community Church. This past fall Tyler graduated from Corban and began looking for a full time ministry opportunity. That’s when he read about our need through a posting at the local seminary. We made contact. He came for a visit. And now after a couple of months of prayer-bathed exchanges, our elders have joined me in extending a call to Tyler for him to come and serve on our ministry team.
Coming to our peninsula Tyler says that he wants to be a part of a church community that equips guys and girls to live for Christ in a world that is increasingly secular and apathetic toward faith in Christ.
He wants to work with families to encourage them in the task of working together to strengthen our youth in their faith. And he wants to join with us all in reaching out to those without Christ through our testimony of being a caring body of believers whose lives are marked by the reality of a living relationship with Christ.
Sounds good, doesn’t it. And there are many other dimensions to this guy as well. Biking, reading, hanging out with friends, disc golf and basketball are just a few of his other interests. But I’ll leave that up to you to explore. This week Tyler Erickson comes to join us in the great kingdom work to which God has called us, and I’m delighted that he is joining our team. Let’s give him our very best welcome.