Brad DeForest could not afford to take additional courses through a traditional seminary, so he enrolled at Christian Leaders Institute for a Ministry Education Without Financial Obligation. Here is his story…

Ministry Education Without Financial Obligation – Brad’s Story

I grew up in a Catholic church and came to know the Lord through Bible study with my mom and Sunday school. I did not have a good Christian foundation of faith through High School and fell into the ways of the world in college. After college, I started to go back to church at a small non-denominational church where I began to know the Lord better through his word. Over the last five years, my relationship with the Lord has grown, and he has given me strength through hard times that brought me closer to him. My wife and I are currently the Youth Leaders at our church, and my dream is to grow the Youth Ministry at our church and eventually start a College Ministry. I think that there is a lack of Christian mentorship between the ages of 18 and 25, and would like to grow ministry to provide encouragement and guidance to this age group. I identify most with Youth Leader because I am a Youth Pastor. The lack of good Youth leadership in my younger years prompted me to step into ministry. I wish I would have had a good Christian mentor in High School and college to keep me from straying from the Lord. I live in South Florida, where society is extremely materialistic. Worldly influences are everywhere with more night clubs and strip clubs than churches. It is hard to keep the youth focused on God and not on the world. Our Lead Pastor has been a great mentor and is very encouraging. Additionally, the congregation has come behind us in encouraging the ministry and us as leaders. My wife has been a huge factor in continuing in ministry. She knows how much I enjoy ministry and encourages me when I get discouraged. Additionally, since I became a Youth Leader, my dad who has never known the Lord has decided to start going to church and seeing that God has used my step into ministry to bring him to God brings me great joy. A scholarship at CLI will allow me to get Bible and Ministry education that I would not have the means to get any other way. I work two jobs just to pay my bills and cannot afford to take out additional student loans to get this education. Please pray that God gives me a strength to continue in this calling for my life.

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