After Mike Ball stepped down in August as Director of Student Ministries and Brooke Larson so admirably and successfully stepped up during the interim, the search committee for the position has been diligently working to find the next person to spiritually lead and guide our youth. While the COVID-19 pandemic may have moved our meetings and interviews to Zoom, it did not stop us from finding an exceptional candidate in Jake Putich. Jake has the experience and personality to build and grow our youth ministry, as well as create our campus ministry with nearby colleges and the college students in our congregation. The search committee was unanimously impressed and truly believe he is a one-in-a-million candidate; while the pandemic brings a lot of uncertainty, we knew if we waited until things returned to normal it was unlikely we would find someone of his expertise and character again. We are delighted Personnel and Session agreed that while our timing may not be perfect, God’s timing always is.
Jake feels particularly
called to youth ministry; as a teenager, he became involved in a large youth
program after having been raised without a strong church connection and truly
began to feel at home in church. He knows
how important formation is in youth ministry, actively working to make sure his
programs grow and develop faith in Christ as opposed to only being “fun”
without substance. Jake believes Gen Z
feels the weight of the world’s problems on their shoulders, and enjoys creating
the bridge between their faith and the social issues facing them. His ministry focuses on the whole family,
equipping parents as well as youth to grapple with issues of faith.