Insyder: Brandon Shanks
Church: Pentecostals of Apopka
Location: Apopka, FL
Student Group Name: Connect Student Ministries
Number of Students: 70
Student Pastor: Brandon Shanks
InsideOut: At what age did you know you’d be in youth ministry?
Brandon Shanks: At age sixteen.
IO: At what age did you become a student pastor?
Brandon Shanks: At age eighteen.
IO: Explain the meaning behind your youth group’s name.
Brandon Shanks: We desire to connect students to Jesus Christ.
IO: If you could take your students anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Brandon Shanks: Disney World (just joking). I guess I would take them to a place where they had the opportunity to serve and share the gospel. When they involve themselves in the mission of Jesus, they will begin to connect to their personal purpose.
IO: What is your fondest memory as a youth pastor?
Brandon Shanks: There are too many to recall. Sure, working with students has its challenges, but the good memories far outweigh the bad. I have been blessed to work with some amazing students and staff.
IO: What annual event does your group of students look forward to the most?
Brandon Shanks: For many years our church has hosted an annual youth conference called Fusion. The students really look forward to it each year.
IO: What all does Fusion entail?
Brandon Shanks: It is a gathering of students from across our state who come to worship together.
IO: What is God speaking to your students about right now?
Brandon Shanks: We are currently in a series called “The Truth About God.” In this series we are shredding common misconceptions that students have about God and exposing them to the truth about who God really is through Jesus Christ.
IO: What do you feel is the strength of our students in this generation?
Brandon Shanks: I would say the strength of our students in this generation is their desire to make a difference.
IO: How can we focus that desire so it is has the maximum impact?
Brandon Shanks: As youth workers, we must continually think impact and not isolation. I feel challenged to continually put practical opportunities to make a difference for Jesus Christ in front of students. I wholeheartedly believe in this generation and have found that they will rise to the challenge!