Free Training at CLI for My Youth Pastor Call
My name is Daniel Schippers, and I am receiving free training at CLI for my youth pastor call. My family and I currently live in Coopersville, Michigan. I am 37 years old. Although I have believed in God my entire life, I didn’t become a Christian until I was 30.
My path to Christianity was a long and rough road that went through my parents’ divorce, firefighting, the military, lots of death and depression, a special needs child with lots of surgeries and trips to the hospital, as well as my divorce.
Realization and Salvation
After a long downhill struggle, I finally hit rock bottom during the summer of 2012. It was the middle of the night, and I was sitting in an empty parking lot in downtown Chicago. I was at the end of my rope; broke, lost, and in a car that was breaking down.
I saw a bumper sticker that read, “In God We Trust.” Then I remembered what my ex-wife’s Grandma said to me once. Grandma said that she couldn’t pray for our special needs daughter because she prayed that God brings my wife back to Him so she couldn’t question His means.
Now, although I do not agree with her statement, it made me come to an important realization. Everything that I went through was not God punishing me, it was God testing me, and up until this point, I failed. Everything that I had gone through was meant to bring me closer to God. He wanted me to rely on Him; I was relying on myself.
After I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, my life turned around. God led me to the love of my life, a beautiful Christian woman. With my two daughters and her two daughters, God made our fantastic family of six. After trying a couple of different churches, we finally found our church home in 2013 at Coopersville Reformed Church. We have been there ever since.
In more recent years, my wife and I have been getting more involved in the church. I felt a strong calling to go into youth ministry. Therefore, I volunteered at what we call “The Nest.” I drove the bus to pick the kids up and cook breakfast for them. I felt I wasn’t doing enough, so I started substituting for Sunday School teachers. Still, I felt I wasn’t doing enough, so I helped out with the Middle School and High School youth groups.
In the High School youth group, I felt my calling. So I became a leader and have been there for two years. I love being a youth leader. However, I still felt I wasn’t doing enough. That’s when God told me that it wasn’t “how much” but “what” I was doing. At a fall men’s retreat, He said to me that His path for me was to become a youth pastor.
Youth Pastor Call and Study at CLI
About this time, I was also nominated for the role of deacon at our church. I wasn’t feeling a calling to be a deacon since I felt a strong pull to the path of a youth pastor. I brought all of this to a pastor at our church. He told me to accept the deacon role and to start taking classes through the Christian Leaders Institute. Taking free training at CLI for my youth pastor call is what I am doing, and I became a deacon. I am pleased with both choices.
My spiritual goal is to keep young adults in the church. After High School, so many leave the church. I want to excite High Schoolers so much that they don’t want to leave the church. I wish to light a fire in the youth of the church that nobody can blow out, no peer, no professor, not the Devil himself. To God, be the glory!