Insyder – Joel Wells
IO: What’s your favorite Starbuck’s drink?
JW: I like “real” coffee, but I can inhale a tall cinnamon dulce latte in like thirty-five seconds.
IO: What’s your favorite scripture?
JW: John 16:33 – “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
Here Jesus teaches me not to be surprised nor discouraged by tough times—He is in control!
IO: If you could have one superhero power, what would you choose? Why?
JW: I’d have to go with the power to fly. The shallow reason…come on, its flying that would just rock! The deep reason…flying would give someone a serious perspective change. Sometimes I get too focused on details. Flying would force me to see the big picture.
IO: Would you rather go to the moon Moon or go to marsMars?
JW: Mars for sure. The Moon has already been done.
IO: Speaking of planets, you have worked for NASA, right?
JW: Yes. I interned with NASA while in college and proceeded with a 16 sixteen-year career at the Kennedy Space Center. I left in 2007 to assume the pastorate of The Pentecostals of Titusville.
IO: Describe what that experience meant for you. I mean, it’s every boy and girl’s dream to be an astronaut or astronomer at some point.
JW: If I had been an astronaut, I’d take this opportunity to inspire a child. Since I wasn’t, I’ll just try not to put your readers to sleep. Seriously though, it was a very cool job. As news media spokesman for the shuttle program, I worked closely with astronauts and engineers. Doing countdown commentary for launches, producing documentaries with news outlets, consulting on major motion pictures, and executing an international communications plan were all very challenging and rewarding job functions. Later, I was privileged to serve as NASA’s liaison to the Florida Governor’s office and State Legislature.
I honestly thought I would retire at the agency until it became clear I was being called to something “higher” than America’s human spaceflight program. I do believe God used my NASA career to prepare me for pastoral ministry though.
The Pentecostals of Titusville have a straightforward, unchanging vision. We develop a ministry plan to pursue that vision, and then we execute clear strategies toward that end. The content is definitely God’s, but I can’t deny that process was influenced by NASA. They have a heritage of doing things everyone else thinks are impossible. It was very cool to be exposed to that culture. I think the church should do the impossible!
IO: In the Bible, to which person do you connect the most? Why?
JW: Its predictable, but true—King David. He was obviously flawed but passionately committed to God and His people.
IO: Is there anything you’ve read lately that you would recommend?
JW: It’s been out a long while and has a terribly long title, but it’s still a great book: “A Long Obedience in the Same Direction” by Eugene H. Peterson.
IO: What word do you hope people use when they describe you?
IO: How about when they describe our fellowship?
IO: What do you feel is the Goliath of our generation?
JW: Selfishness is a giant problem. It seems like major life decisions are being made in a moment filtered only by the question “how does this make me feel?”
Young people are making decisions on relationships, education, career, and ministry that will shape the rest of their lives. Yet, they have not fasted and prayed, nor have they sought godly counsel.
I’ve been blessed to have selfless young men and women serve at our church, but I hear more and more about youth in our fellowship who are concerned more about ministry salaries than making an investment in the Kingdom. “What’s in it for me?” is not the right question for those called into ministry!
IO: How do we overcome that?
JW: On a personal level, we have to subject our fleshly ambitions and entitlements to the will of God. Fasting and prayer is a great way to start.
On a movement level, we need to teach servitude and not convenience in our homes. We need to train disciples and not superstars in our churches. We need to teach sacrifice and not entitlement in our Bible colleges.
About Joel Wells
Joel is Christy’s husband, Jace and Judah’s daddy, and the Pentecostals of Titusville’s pastor. He and his family of four reside near Titusville, Florida. You can learn more about him at www.experiencetpt.com.