Tag: Chet Kennedy

Leadership Is… God Calling a Youth Pastor #297

God called me into youth ministry, on a yellow school bus, when I was 14 years old.

When I was in grade 7 my dad organized a “family meeting.” Family meetings are never particularly good. Usually they are grand announcements of impending doom or disappointment.

In this particular case my dad announced that we would be moving to McLennan Alberta. Up until that point Red Deer was the only city I knew and I had really enjoyed growing up there.

McLennan is a small town of 400 people approximately 4 hours north of Edmonton. I affectionately refer to it as a “hole in the ground.” Every school day my brother, sister and I would get on a yellow school bus and travel from our home outside of McLennan, through McLennan into a village called Donnelly. (I’m not making this up these are real names.)

In Donnelly we would attend a school of almost 600 kids and, as far as I could tell, we were the only people who did not grow up there. It seemed like everyone was somehow related and none of us were cousins of anyone in the school.

Therefore, I got picked on.

A lot.

My only saving grace and solace was the acreage we lived on. It had amazing places we could visit and forested areas I could hide in. I would get lost in those forests for hours.

The other thing that kept me sane was a youth group in a town called High Prairie that my Dad would drive us to every Friday night. Finally, there were kids I knew who had the same values as we did and worshipped the same God. I am fairly certain that if it hadn’t been for that youth group in High Prairie I probably would have left the church and Christianity altogether.

So, after a particularly hard day at school, with bullying at its peak I found myself angry, really angry. I’m on the long ride home on that same yellow school bus that I’m on every day. I’ve got my head pressed forward into the seat in front of me and I’m fuming. I remember being frustrated with my situation and asking God questions like, “Why did we have to move here?” Just plain telling God, “I hate this place.” The thing I remember most clearly about this day is that I asked God, “Why are kids in small towns so mean?”

… and I heard his response.

It wasn’t audible it was in my head but it was clearly God.

He said, “there is no one who loves teenagers in small towns.”

I knew what he meant. He did not mean that parents or grandparents don’t love teenagers. He did not mean that teachers don’t love teenagers. God was telling me that there needed to be more youth pastors in small towns. From that moment I knew my calling, God was asking me to become a youth pastor. (Excerpted from Chet Kennedy, Broken Mortals)

Leadership is … listening and looking for God’s call.

Yours in Service,

Chet Kennedy

Son of: Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

https://jethrogroup.files.wordpress.com/2018/11/jethrogrouplogo.png

{ Comments are closed }

Leadership Is Realizing We Are Broken Mortals #281

The Boy

Before they left, they gathered supplies. Tools, firewood, and provisions for the journey. The young boy watched the preparation. His family gathered the things they would need, lashing them to the animals for the trip. His people had moved before, some would say often. City to city, town to town. Moving to where there is food, or work, or relatives, but the boy had never been anywhere but here. Today he would see. Today he would be traveling with the adults.

He had his own pack to carry. His mom had packed up some berries, dried meat and bread. They were heading off on a three day journey. The boy wondered if they would make him walk the whole way? He wondered if he could walk the whole way. He determined at that moment that he would do whatever was asked of him. It was a privilege to be a part of this journey.

The man looked at his son, with his pack. He struggled to keep his emotions at bay. It was going to be a long journey for the boy. They would have to keep up their pace or this journey would take a week. There would be some amazing things for him to see. Sunsets, rivers to cross, hills to climb. Enough adventure to keep his young mind occupied. There would be campfires and stargazing. Camping in crazy places with the sound of wild animals just beyond the reaches of firelight.

Like all Fathers, he wondered to himself. What will we talk about? Will he have questions I can’t answer? Should I be looking for ways to fill the long hours? What wisdom do I hold that could hold his attention? I am a simple man. My whole life has been rather dull. There was that one time, maybe that’s not a story for him yet.

The boy stood as they gathered at the edge of town. It was the time for goodbyes and hugs. He thought to himself, Mom’s hug seems especially long. She is crying a lot. Why didn’t she hug Father? She didn’t even look at him. Girls are weird, I’m never getting married.

With that thought, he turned and began the journey.

An excerpt from Broken Mortals: A Journey of Hope, by Rev. Chet Kennedy

Leadership is seeing God at work in us as broken mortals.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

https://jethrogroup.files.wordpress.com/2018/11/jethrogrouplogo.png

{ Comments are closed }

Leadership Is Hearing God’s Calling #279


The life changing question was raised, I had seconds to respond. It was an awesome evening. The Northern Alberta sky was filled with colorful moving curtains of Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis). The moonlight illuminated thousands of snow covered pine and spruce trees. Our son, sitting in the back of our van said “Dad, what would you think if I became a Youth Pastor?”

I had a second to think. He would live in a fish bowl. He would not have consistent hours of work.  He would be at the beck and call of hundreds of youth and their parents. My response was, “you always need to follow God’s call and you’ll have our full support and encouragement”.

“God called me into Youth Ministry, on a yellow school bus, when I was 14 years old. Every school day my brother, sister and I would get on a yellow school bus and travel from our home. I got picked on. A lot. The thing I remember most clearly about that day is asking God, why are kids in small towns so mean? I heard his response. It wasn’t audible it was in my head but it was clearly God. He said, there is no one who loves teenagers in small towns.” (Rev. Chet Kennedy, Broken Mortals)

“I knew what he meant. He did not mean that parents or grandparents don’t love teenagers. He did not mean that teachers don’t love teenagers. God was telling me that there needed to be more Youth Pastors in small towns. From that moment I knew my calling, God was asking me to become a Youth Pastor.” (Broken Mortals by Rev. Chet Kennedy)

God’s influence is the transformation. The metamorphosis of a tadpole into a frog or the caterpillar into a butterfly. The new creature doesn’t remember, resemble or have any desire or ability to return to the former life. God had a plan and Chet was in it.

Today, Chet is a praying Youth Guy. As the Executive Director of Camp Chamisall in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. He directs, works with the Board, speaks at churches and does Youth Retreats across Western Canada. He confirms, “Camp is the best place for kids to come to know our Lord. Every teen’s parents, grandparents, relatives and Pastors are praying. They pray for the teen before, during and after camp. Every teen is surrounded by prayer for those days.

Watch for his eBook, Broken Mortals by Rev. Chet Kennedy to be released soon.

Leadership is hearing and following God’s calling.

Yours in Service,
Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

https://jethrogroup.files.wordpress.com/2018/11/jethrogrouplogo.png

{ Comments are closed }