Student Ministries Pastor
Hello New Life! My name is Noah Daniels and this summer I will be stepping into the position of Student Ministries Pastor. I am overwhelmed with excitement and anticipation for how God is going to work in the lives of the students of New Life Community Church in the years to come, and I am thankful to be able to journey along with them through that process.
I come from a long line of ministers; my father, grandfather, and great-grandfather were all preachers and pastors in the Church of the Nazarene, and I plan to continue that legacy by following my own call into full-time ministry. Very recently, I graduated from Point Loma Nazarene University with a degree in Music Ministry, and I am currently enrolled in a Master’s of Divinity program at Nazarene Theological Seminary. On top of all that, I am currently engaged to the most amazing woman and ministry partner I could hope for, Kerri Brett Rutherford. We are getting married in early August.
My hope for the students at New Life is this, that they would come to know and believe that their identity is rooted solely in the love of God. Adolescence is a challenging time in which the world tries to give us a story or a narrative in order to answer the great existential questions of who am I? Does my life have purpose? And how do I live into that purpose? The trouble students often find themselves in is a prioritization of the wrong narrative; perhaps it is consumerism, performance based acceptance, or something else entirely, but too often they miss out on living into their true identity because like Esau, they settle for momentary bowls of soup in exchange for the fullness of their birthrights. All that to say, my desire for our students is to show them that Christ offers an alternative identity to that of the world, an identity which in fact is who they were created and called to be.
That being said, I need you! Like the old proverb says, “it takes a village to raise a child.” Our students need to know they are loved by God, and we are called to be an example of that love in their lives. I firmly believe the greatest testament of faith we can give to our young people is to be there for them. We must allow them the space to process the hard questions of faith, listen well to their realities and hardships, and consistently point them back to the God who created them and called them “very good.” We are the Church, the body of Christ, and that includes everyone from infants to students to retirees and everything in between, and only together, in fellowship and unity, can we truly come to know that love which surpasses all understanding.
So, I am so excited to see how God moves in and through the lives of our students this year and ask that you would partner with me, in prayer and support, so that our church body as a whole and our student ministries in particular may become a foretaste of Heaven on Earth.
Life Development Pastor
It has been an absolute honor and joy to serve the students of New Life for the past 3 years. New Life has some of the greatest junior high and high school students on the planet! I have loved getting to know them and seeing them come alive in their relationship with Christ! In addition, our student ministries has the most incredible team of volunteer leaders and caring adults. I know Noah will be blessed by having a team that so faithfully and prayerfully loves on our students! In some ways, this is the easiest “good-bye” that I’ve ever had to write because I’m not really going anywhere! I will still be involved in student ministries, providing leadership for Taylor, Nick, and Noah, and helping bridge the gap between our student and adult ministries! I am so excited to see all that God will do through the new, fresh leadership of Noah and the team…our students are in GREAT hands!
I am also really excited to jump into my new role of Life Development Pastor at New Life. It’s a role that I know will stretch me and grow me and I look forward to getting to serve kids, students, AND adults at New Life. Over the course of my 12 years in professional ministry (and even as a volunteer minister before that) I have always LOVED being able to witness the moment when people start to “get it”. I love seeing real, lasting life change in individuals, in families, and in communities. Part of my story, and a big reason I am the man I am today, is because at a young age I was able to plug into and experience authentic community in my life. Because of this, I’ve always been passionate about helping others find that same type of community that leads to growth. Over the years I’ve been blessed with amazing peers and mentors in my circles, and THAT is truly what I pray for our kids, students, and adults here at New Life. After all, greater transformation happens in circles than in rows…I know this because I’ve seen it in my own life and in the lives of so many friends and students.
One of my favorite verses is 1 Thessalonians 2:8: “We loved you so much that we shared with you not only God’s Good News but our own lives, too.” I am excited to partner with God in seeing people of all ages and places in their faith start to dig deep roots…both with God, and with others. I know God has big plans for the people of New Life and in our community and I am excited to see people take their next steps into becoming the people God has created them to be!
Excited to be on this journey with you!