I hope you’ve experienced rest in Christ this week. My prayer has been that you would be “grounded firm and deep in the Savior’s love, fastened to the Rock which cannot move.” (Owens)
I’ve got exciting news for you on this Thursday. After much prayer and a thorough vetting process, my fellow elders and I were thrilled to offer Taylor Mendoza the position of full-time Director of Student Ministries. (He accepted our offer.)
Not only is it a sweet pleasure to see someone from our own ranks—a member of Northpoint since he was four years old—desire to serve God in vocational ministry and demonstrate such faithfulness in his calling, but Taylor’s development over the last few years as a leader, theologian, teacher, and shepherd of students has been remarkable. In the words of CBU’s Dean of Christian Studies program, “Guys like Taylor don’t come along very often.”
Taylor doesn’t just love the Church; he loves this church. And he doesn’t just love students; he loves our students. The evidence of this is overwhelming. I’ve never once had a parent say to me, “I just don’t know if Taylor really cares about my son/daughter.” His passion is just one reason that I am excited to welcome him to our team.
Taylor will continue to work on his seminary degree (he’s completed one-third of his Master of Divinity requirements), although he will be reducing his semester hours significantly. Taylor will personally lead the high school and Revolve ministries while overseeing the junior high intern. Taylor will be the Director of Student Ministries rather than the Pastor of Student Ministries. This just means that while Taylor continues his education, there are a few responsibilities (e.g., crisis counseling, hospital visits, funerals) that he will likely “grow into” rather than assume right away. But he is more than ready to shepherd our students in a way that leads them into a greater knowledge of the grace and love of God.
Many of you already know Taylor. However, some of you, I’m sure, have not met him. So, in order for you to become better acquainted with Taylor, here are eight (very random) questions that I posed to him, along with his brief responses.
1. Why do you enjoy spending hours each week working with teenagers … seriously, we don’t get it? Three words: fun, energetic, and serious. Teenagers are like sponges who desire rich community, purpose, and a life that is not wasted. When I can preach Christ and cast a God-glorifying vision to them they are ready to soak it up.
2. Outside of ministry stuff, what energizes you? A date with Halie, baseball, a good movie, Sherlock Holmes, and family time.
3. You’ve been married a year now … what’s the most surprising thing that you’ve learned about your new bride? Apart from learning that Halie is the most patient and loving person I have ever known, she has an incredible knack for making things messy. Granted, I can be messy at times too. God help our kids!
4. What sounds do you love to hear? What noises drive you crazy? I love classical music. Rushing water. The crack of a bat making contact with a baseball. It drives me crazy when a dog barks, the toilet constantly filling up with water, and a Nazgul’s screech (i.e. Peter Jackson’s version of Lord of the Rings).
5. If you lie awake in the middle of the night, what are you most likely going to be thinking about? I am most likely thinking about my next sermon. Outline, flow, illustrations, application, etc.
6. What inspires you? Suffering and steadfast brothers and sisters in Christ (i.e. the persecuted Church). Reading missionary biographies. A good missionary knows how to take risks, has incredible faith, and is used mightily for God’s kingdom. I also am inspired each time I hear my wife’s personal testimony. She is a living example of God’s grace and faithfulness.
7. Why do people of all ages and backgrounds need the gospel, even after they put their faith in Jesus? A disciple is someone who is currently being transformed by the gospel. The gospel is not only my greatest motivation for holiness but is the fountain that I must drink from each day. Through the gospel, God is currently bringing others to saving faith, is calling a people to himself, and is using his Bride (the Church) to display his plan of cosmic reconciliation. I believe that God is most glorified when we (as believers) are resting firmly in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
8. What’s the last gift you gave someone? The last gift I gave was on May 29th to my wife on our 1st wedding anniversary. A card, and a nice dinner at Las Brisas.
As you can see, Taylor is wise beyond his years. As the parent of three teenagers, I am thrilled to have him assist me in shepherding the hearts of my children. Please pray for Taylor and Halie, and if you feel compelled, send them a note of encouragement. They (and I) would greatly appreciate it.
By his grace,