About a month ago, we welcomed our new youth pastor, Robert Brazile, to the Shepherd’s Grove community. Now that he’s had some time to adjust, we thought we’d take a few minutes to get to know him a little better.
Shepherd’s Grove Blog: Where are you from?
Robert Brazile: Tacoma, Washington (A small city south of Seattle)
SGB: Where are you going to school?
RB: Hope International University. I graduate in May!
SGB: What led you to becoming a youth pastor?
RB: My youth pastor growing up, Ryan Reed, was a huge influence on my life and my career choice. A lot of youth pastors or even pastors have a moment in their life that they can say that is when they were called, but for me it was a little different. I felt like it was a process that God slowly kept putting in my mind one piece at a time. I realized how influential Ryan was on my life and so many other youth’s lives and how important that was in our faith walk, that I realized I had a heart for students and wanted to be that role model and that example to them like Ryan was for me. God really just instilled that in me throughout my years in high school so I like to think my “calling” and me deciding to be a youth pastor was a process that God spent a lot of time working on!
SGB: Why do you enjoy working with youth?
RB: I think that one main reason is I get to continue being a kid at heart. I never really have to grow up! Haha. But, really, I think that youth have this way of looking at theology and God that is different from adults. Not that either way is wrong, but youth come with their questions. No matter what that question is or how dumb it may sound or how simple the answer is, they aren’t afraid to question God, the scripture or theology — all for the right reasons of course. I think that keeps me on my toes when I am thinking about theology. They have so many different angles into how they see the world and see how God works that I love how they approach it. That is probably the biggest reason why I enjoy working with them. They challenge my faith in the best way possible. So many youth pastors say this, but, even though I am supposed to be teaching them, I learn more from them than they learn from me
SGB: How did you get involved with Shepherd’s Grove?
RB: It’s kind of an odd story. I had never heard of Shepherd’s Grove before November last year. I was interning at Eastside Christian Church in Anaheim with the junior high ministry when Shepherd’s Grove emailed Eastside asking about their interns. They were curious if any interns were ready to take on a ministry of their own soon, and my name was one of the ones referenced to Shepherd’s Grove. That is how I got involved at Shepherd’s Grove. I am certainly blessed beyond compare by Shepherd’s Grove, and I truly think that God put me here for a reason and I am so excited to see what God has in store in the years to come!
SGB: What is your main goal/hope for The Grove (the Shepherd’s Grove youth group)?
RB: That is a tough question to answer, but here is the best way I think I can explain that: my goal and hope would be that, in the years to come, The Grove becomes a place where any youth can come and experience God’s love and acceptance through the way they are received. I want this youth group to be a place where you don’t have to be perfect to attend. I want it to be a place for the broken, for the needy, for the Christian, for the non-Christian, for anyone. Ultimately, God’s love reaches out to everyone no matter who you are, so that is what this youth group should do and I think does.
SGB: How can the Shepherd’s Grove community get involved or help support the work you’re leading with The Grove?
RB: There are many ways. One way would be to volunteer. If you have a heart for youth, please come check us out and think about joining in on the ministry! (email me at email@example.com if you want to get information about becoming a volunteer). Another way could be just to connect with youth in the church. The most important things in their lives are the relationships they have. I think as an older generation, what can be passed on to the next generation is super important. Whether that is your wisdom, your love, or even something like food. Ask to have some youth over for dinner just to show them that they are super important in the life of the church. I think as a church as a whole, the biggest thing that can be done is show the youth they are loved, accepted, and have a place in the Kingdom of God.
SGB: We hear you’re getting married this year. Congratulations! Tell us about the future Mrs. Brazile.
RB: Her name is Kaylee and goes to Hope International University as well. We met while serving on the Student Activities student leader team a year and a half ago. She is from Arizona and is studying to be an elementary school teacher with a focus on missions. In the long run, we would like to end up over in Africa where she can teach and I could possibly help plant a church! We both love ministry, missions, movies and baseball (she’s a Diamondbacks fan, and I am an Angels fan)!
SGB: Is there anything else we should know about you?
RB: I love baseball. I love studying the scripture and theology. If anyone ever wants to discuss theology or something about the Bible, don’t hesitate. I love doing that. I also love movies. I have seen a lot and own over 350, so if you are a movie buff, come talk to me. Another thing that I love, probably more than anything except God, my fiancee, and family, are comics. I’m a super comic book nerd.
Welcome to the team, Robert! We’re so excited to have you as part of the Shepherd’s Grove community, and can’t wait to see the great work you’ll do with The Grove.
If you would like to know more about Robert, please feel free to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or find him after church on Sundays. He’d love to meet you!