Jeanette Hielkema

Q: Where could we find you at 10:00 AM on a Saturday morning?

A: Depends on the weather. During the summer I’m out in the gardens. In winter, I’ll be in my favorite chair with a good book and a cup of coffee.

Q: Where’s your favorite place to meet with students, and why?

A: My favorite place is Tim Horton’s or a pizza place. I like them to be able to have something in their hands. Our conversations flow easier when the total focus is not on talking.

Q: What do you do to stay relevant to youth?

A: I refuse to grow up! I accept their challenges as they accept mine. I read a lot. I like to keep in touch with the youth through Facebook.

Q: What resource has inspired you for ministry lately?

A: The Bible! Also Sticky Faith by Powell/Clark.

Q: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done for a youth group fundraiser?

A: We do lots of crazy things—but not necessarily for fundraisers. They are just dares that we make up (leaders must participate!). We went sledding down a steep hill on mattresses once.

Brandon Bajema 

Q: Where could we find you at 10:00 AM on a Saturday morning?

A: Most Saturday mornings you either find me out in the yard, working a job of mine or hanging out with my amazing wife (Robyn Bajema).

Q: What do you do to stay relevant to youth?

A: I recently attended a youth ministry conference for the first time. I will attend every year from now on! It was very impactful and filled up my cup to come back to my youth ministry refreshed with many new ideas! I also frequent other youth pastor’s blogs—it gives me new ideas and helps me find new perspectives on relevant issues for today’s youth.

Q: If your students described you in five words or less, what would they say?

A: CHICAGO FAN, AWESOME YOUTH PASTOR

Q: Where would you like to travel someday?

A: I love to travel! The place I’d most like to go is Ireland, because my favorite band U2 is from there!

Q: What got you started going to Youth Unlimited’s Serve or other faith-forming experience?

A: I grew up going to Serve and Convention (now Live It). I loved the faith-forming experiences and the life-changing issues they brought to my attention. As an adult and now a youth pastor, I love to give my youth the same opportunities. Serve has been instrumental in helping my group of youth grow spiritually each year.

Trent Elders 

Q: Where would we find you at 10:00 AM on a Saturday morning?

A: If there is not a youth activity going on, I am one of four places: fly fishing, taking photos of a wedding, biking to the Farmers Market or reading on my porch with my wife.

Q: What’s your favorite place to meet with students, and why?

A: Rowster Coffee. This is a coffee shop that cares not only about where they get their beans, but how they roast and brew each cup. It is a great atmosphere to have deep conversations with students, and it feels slightly cleaner and more comfortable than your average Taco Bell meeting spot.

Q: I never leave for youth group without:

A: My youth ministry bag: Bible, moleskin notebook, pen, iPhone, iPad, projector dongle, Swiss Army Knife, flashlight, guitar pick.

Q: If your students described you in five words or less, what would they say?

A: He has a beard….

Q: Where would you like to travel someday?

A: Middle Earth