the shape of leadership

Pushing the Boundaries of What’s Possible

A Q&A with Peter Reeves

Matt Hufman on December 18, 2019

Peter Reeves is the NextGen pastor at Mount Hope Church (Assemblies of God) in Lansing, Michigan.

INFLUENCE: What are some of the major struggles young Christians face in their attempt to live spiritually and physically in a way that honors God and serves as an example to others?
I think one of the struggles or strongholds is students have so much access to things they don’t know how to process or understand. It’s starting to destroy them.

A lot of time we’re asking or preaching questions the students are not asking. They’re struggling because they saw something on social media. They have access and temptations at a level we never had. We have to help them answer that. We have to help them understand how to process and walk in freedom.

What encourages you about this generation?
I’m noticing that students are really engaging the supernatural, and they’re extremely creative. I think the students are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. I’m encouraged by that. I think that’s going to help them preach the gospel and reach others like never before.

“One word from God can change everything.”
— Peter Reeves

What is your vision for student ministry, and how are you pursuing it?
Our vision is to reach our entire city and all the students with the kingdom of God and the gospel message, but how we do that looks different for us every year.

I’ve tried to ebb and flow with our leadership team. As long as we’re reaching people for Jesus, I don’t care how it’s done.

What is unique about your approach to student ministries?
We have a lot of really good communicators. I share the preaching responsibilities with my wife and our youth director and even our administrators. Part of our passion is to raise up communicators to reach the world for Christ. We want to reach the generation for Christ.

We have all these gifts in the Body, and I fit more of the apostle seat, but I need students to hear from the pastor, the prophet, the teacher, and the evangelist. I need them to hear from everybody.

What is your message to other youth leaders across the country who are engaged in the battle for the hearts and minds of today’s youth?
Allow people to grow at their own pace. Let them fall in love with Jesus so they can hear the voice of God. They don’t need to just hear you. They need to hear God. Give them the space and time to hear from God in your services. One word from God can change everything.

If we can teach students how to identify God’s voice in our services, then we can teach them to hear God’s voice in their lives.

This article originally appeared in the November/December 2019 edition of Influence magazine.

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