Kyle Wilson is a 2010 graduate from LCU with a degree in General Ministry with a focus in Youth Ministry. He works as the Next Steps Minister at Northside Christian Church in New Albany, Indiana. He’s married to Lil (LCC ’09), who works as a parenting coach and social worker, and they are parents to Conley and Cavanaugh.
We asked Kyle a few questions about his ministry and his LCU experience. Check out his responses below:
You’re a pastor at a fairly large church in southern Indiana. What’s particularly challenging about your current ministry setting? What’s particularly rewarding?
Any ministry setting is challenging no matter the size of your church. So let’s start there. It’s challenging here at Northside because it’s ministry. In my particular setting, I work closely within our first-time guest process. Since the pandemic we are seeing a lot of first-time guests and a lot of people still coming back for the first time. This is a very good thing, but definitely challenging. Turning first-time guests into fully engaged disciples is probably our biggest challenge right now. However, this is the rewarding part as well. It’s really cool to see God bring someone to your church for the first time and then 4-6 weeks later seeing that person connect to a group or a serving opportunity.
Everyone in church ministry wants their church to grow. How does a church balance aggressive growth tactics in seeking new people with meaningful discipleship for those who are already committed? Are these two goals in tension, or can they be complimentary?
This is a really good question. I think they can be complimentary if you are doing it the right way. That’s not to say we get it right all the time. We are seeking new people with growth tactics every single weekend. We call this going after “The One.” However, we do this through teaching and training “The 99”. So yes, we have aggressive growth tactics. These “tactics” are for the one, but we do them through the 99. Our mission is to reach the lost, but we do this through those who have already been found.
How did your educational experience at LCU help prepare you for ministry in your current context and in general?
The thing I loved most about LCU was that it forced me to get OUT of the classroom. The classes were great. I loved my professors. However, when I was there, they were very intentional in getting me out of the classroom and into the local church setting. The thing that prepared me the most for ministry was doing projects, independent studies, and serving within the local church. Having the opportunity to experience hands-on ministry better prepares people for their future ministry. And LCU was great at making sure I experienced this.
What does the church most need to be effective, and how does Christian education help meet that need?
Like I said, hands-on ministry experience is so important. The church needs more of this. And this doesn’t always mean we need more people in vocational ministry, although we probably do. At Northside we have a group of about 20 volunteers that we call ambassadors. These people work about 6-8 hours a week in a volunteer setting and are given real, hands-on ministry experience. They are more than just a weekend volunteer. I know that our church needs more people like that and I’m sure other churches are the same.