(LoL) with Tim Schmoyer

Life on Life is a new feature where I interview leaders from around the country who are doing this thing called LIFE. In this interview my friend, Tim Schmoyer, Pastor of Student Ministries at Evangelical Covenant Church in MN, shares his life with us.

Me: What book(s) have most shaped you?
Tim: The Bible, Basic Theology by Charles Ryrie, So Great Salvation by Charles Ryrie

Me: You are a blogger. What have you learned through blogging? What do you enjoy about it?
Tim: I've learned that they Lord can use even someone as naive as me to help others in the Kingdom. What I like best is that it challenges me to be continually thinking, evaluating and learning ministry so that I don't fall into a rut in my own church.

Me: Most embarassing moment from the platform?
Tim: I don't think I've ever been embarrassed, but I've definitely had my fair share of youth ministry bloopers. Once I was giving a talk about how we need to prepare spiritually before the temptations come so we can stand strong when they hit. I used an illustration of the Alaskan Moose and how they work hard in the spring to grow a big strong rack of antlers so they can win the battles later in the fall. The kids were snickering the whole time, but I thought nothing of it until I said, "And the one with the biggest rack wins." Then they all bused up laughing. Turns out they were all thinking of a womans' chest.

Me: Where do you turn for inspiration (besides Christ Jesus of course)?
Tim: Blogs, podcasts (mostly LifeChurch.tv and NewSpring), conflict that arises in my own life and ministry.

Me: Considering you are a youth pastor, what is the most notable advice you would provide other youth pastors with?
Tim: If you really believed in the power of prayer, you'd spend a lot more time praying and a lot less time "doing" ministry. Prayer is the most effective and powerful tool in ministry. (James 5:16) Pray!

Me: What is the biggest lesson you've learned through your family?
Tim: That you can be the biggest bonehead and they'll still love you, an example of Christ.

Me: What do you dislike most about ministry?
Tim: All the hype over different philosophies, the waves of different fads and band wagons everyone jumps on, and the big meat market it's turning into for selling products.

Me: What do you like most about ministry?
Tim: Seeing that light-bulb turn on for a teen when they've heard a spiritual truth a hundred times, but that 101th time it just clicks, they get it and it changes their lives.

Me: Give us three of the best (yet maybe underrated) resources available to youth pastors today...

1. The Holy Spirit (Seriously, people completely under-rate the
Holy Spirit! He's the ONLY one who can create life change, not a curriculum or small group leader. That's part of why prayer is so important.)
2. Your Senior Pastor (I'm assuming they've been in ministry much longer than you and share your passion to see people grow spiritually. Learn from them. Talk with them. Ask them questions. Share your struggles. Invite them over for dinner. Pray with them.)
3. Senior citizens in your church (They have so much to offer, they've raised teenagers already, they have the life experience and wisdom most of us could only dream of, they have time to invest into ministry, and they have huge hearts for people. Use them in youth ministry!)

Me: Hobbies?
Tim: Blogging, playing Guild Wars (video game), hanging out with my wife.

Me: What is something that most people don't know about you?
Tim: I've never had gum, soda or most candies. Growing up I couldn't have any food that was artificially colored, flavored or preserved due to a reoccuring tumor in my left ear. Several surgeries later, the tumor is finally gone (along with half of a normal person's hearing ability in that ear), but I still choose to eat and drink only all-natural foods just because it's healthier for me. Besides, since I can't miss something I've never had, I have no desire to even try gum or soda in the first place. The only candy I've ever had is chocolate. Never chewed a stick of gum in my life. Never had a coke.

For more on Tim Schmoyer, click here.

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Tim Schmoyer will join yours truly for the broadcast (via UStream) tomorrow evening (Tuesday) @ 10PM EST | 9PM CST for a LIVE chat. The channel is accessible through LifeonLife.tv. If you have questions you'd like to ask Tim or myself regarding youth ministry, please send them in by Tuesday at 12noon (est) via email.

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