By Starrla Cray
DELANO, MN Michael Fredrickson has felt called to be a pastor since he was a child, and as the new youth director at Delano United Methodist church, he’s well on his way.
“This is an awesome opportunity,” said Fredrickson, who started the part-time job about three weeks ago.
The position includes youth group leadership (with the church pastor) Wednesday evenings, and assistance with church services Sunday mornings.
“God has opened so many doors,” Fredrickson said. “Most people aren’t youth directors at my age.”
Fredrickson is a freshman at Crown College in St. Bonifacius, majoring in Biblical and theological studies, and minoring in psychology.
He grew up in a small town near Bemidji with his parents, Nathan and Holly, and younger sister, Rachael.
“I have an awesome family,” he said. “I owe a lot of who I am today to them.”
Since he was about 10 years old, Fredrickson has been interested in serving God through ministry. Someday, he hopes to become a pastor and plan new churches.
“I’ve had very good strong Christian examples in my life,” he said.
Delano United Methodist Pastor Matthew Sipe said the youth director position is a good fit for someone who’s exploring a vocation in church leadership.
“Michael comes with some tremendous gifts for ministry,” Sipe noted. “He is passionate about his faith and calling.”
In the past, Delano United Methodist has had volunteer youth directors, but because the group is expanding, they decided to have a person on staff.
“We have several kids involved in youth group, and many young kids coming up through our Christian education program, so we needed to get this in place for the future,” Sipe noted.
According to Sipe, it can be advantageous to have a college-aged youth director.
“In many ways, college students are better suited to be able to speak and connect with high school kids,” he explained.
Several students from Crown College, as well as parents, also volunteer with the youth group.
“The church has been great,” Fredrickson said. “They’re a warm, welcoming, loving group of people.”
Fredrickson said he also appreciates the guidance he’s received from Sipe.
“He’s been a good example,” Fredrickson said.
As youth director, Fredrickson said his goal is to help others truly understand what it means to be a Christian.
“My desire is to convey Christ’s truth, and to connect with these kids,” Fredrickson said.
He hopes that by teaching students about Christ’s love and forgiveness, they will be motivated to act, based on the love they’ve been shown.
“We’re the hands and feet of Jesus Christ,” he said. “We’re called to love one another.”
To learn more about Delano United Methodist, call (763) 972-3492 or click here.