Joey says of his Youth Pastor dream: “My spiritual dream is to write books that answer questions for people who are afraid to ask someone in person and to become a Youth Pastor…”
Youth Pastor Dream
My name is Joey Sanders and I have a writing and a Youth Pastor dream. I live in a great town called Pella here in Iowa. Being a Christian Leader here is amazing because I get to be involved with people and I have a lot of resources to go to in this community. My wife and I moved here in June of 2018. We both attend Third Church here in Pella and it is such a great congregation. So many opportunities to help are always available.
My childhood was okay. I started going to Bible school on Sundays and Wednesdays when I was six years old at the First Baptist Church in Centerville, Iowa. I was exposed to the knowledge of God at a young age. My mother did not have very much knowledge in her life. While I was with my mom, we were exposed very little to God. In 2003, when I was about 7 or 8 years old, my brothers and I were taken away from our mom and placed with our dad on Christmas Eve. It was a very confusing time. My dad was great while I was growing up. Due to him having to work to support three kids by himself, he always worked. I was the one that had to keep my brothers in check. My oldest brother, Tim, has autism. My little brother Xavier also has autism. I am the middle child. Growing up, my dad sought to keep the Spirit of God alive in our home. Somedays it felt like God had left when times were dark, but we always managed to get through everything no matter what it was because “With God all things are possible.” – Matthew 19:26.
My spiritual dream is to write books that answer questions for people who are afraid to ask someone in person. I also have a high school Youth Pastor dream to help them become wise and grow in their faith so they do not let their faith slip away. Even though I grew up knowing God, my faith still slipped.
I gave my life to Jesus through baptism on August 7th, 2011 at the First Baptist Church in Memphis, Missouri. However, I did not follow the Christian lifestyle. I was angry, bitter, resentful, and lustful. I was acting up in school and disrespectful toward my parents. When I was seventeen, I left my dad’s house to move in with my mom back in Iowa. Almost a year later, when I was a senior in high school, my girlfriend at the time gave birth to a baby girl. I finished high school a semester early and my faith started to falter. I always had the problem of “fitting in” with others. The people I was around daily wanted to get drunk, do drugs, and smoke cigarettes. I started smoking cigarettes at 10 but had stopped after my dad caught me. I went back to smoking at 18 years old. I was never big into the drug scene but I did get hooked on alcohol. In 2014, I moved back to my dad’s to live with my oldest brother to help him out. By then, my daughter’s mom and I had split for good. That is when my whole world started spiraling out of control.
I realized I needed Christ to live. This is when my wife and I started going together. She has always known God and even knew more about Him then I did. She gave me an ultimatum and told me, “I am wanting to do things God’s way in my life and if you cannot do the same, then we cannot be together.” I thought about it and did some reflection on my life and I thought maybe I should give it a shot. We were living in Centerville, Iowa at the time and started to attend Drake Christian Church. We talked about moving to better ourselves, so I started to apply for jobs and was accepted at a job in manufacturing in Pella.
Since my wife and I have been together, we tried to conceive but we were not able to do so. After we moved here to Pella, my wife and I prayed separately about conceiving. Three weeks after we moved, we found out that she was expecting. It took us over a year to conceive. We are expecting our baby girl Journie Renee Dawn Sanders on March 22, 2019. God has blessed us and that is when I decided I wanted to help others who have been down the path I have been. I want to bless others by sharing the gospel so they can follow Jesus because He is a life changer!
I heard on a Christian radio station one day about Greg Laurie’s Harvest Ministries and I signed up to get his daily devotionals in my email. He has been a huge influence in keeping me straight with my walk with Jesus. I also follow the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. I took a class called “Know Jesus” through this association and got a greater knowledge of who Jesus really is.
Free training to realize my Youth Pastor dream is important because I cannot financially afford to learn more. I want to go forward with my calling from God to serve Him. I am going through this training at Christian Leaders Institute to get ordained as a minister to follow my Youth Pastor dream. I pray and bless anybody who comes to this training at CLI to get the training they are looking for and to be successful with it. May God bless you always!
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