Interview with NAYC Speakers: Aaron Batchelor
North American Youth Congress is almost here, and NAYC 15 is chock full of anointed speakers and musicians who will be ministering in Oklahoma City in just a few short months. We’d like to you to get to know them before they preach to you and lead you in worship.
Our next interview comes from our Friday morning teens split session speaker and pastor of New Life Center, Pastor Aaron Batchelor.
InsideOut: Please tell us your favorite joke.
Aaron Batchelor: Knock, Knock.
Interrupting cow w…?
IO: What is the funniest moment you have had while preaching?
AB: My wife sent me a kind note in the middle of my message. It was delivered by one of our young men, and it read, “HONEY, YOUR ZIPPER IS DOWN!” Unfortunately, I was standing behind our glass pulpit at the time and there was nowhere to run so I had everyone close their eyes and praise the Lord. This gave me time to take care of business. MORAL OF THE STORY: If your pastor or minister asks you to close your eyes during a service, it’s probably in your best interest to close your eyes.
IO: Why do you feel North American Youth Congress is so important for students to attend?
AB: NAYC gives you a chance to see that the Apostolic world is bigger than just your local church. It exposes you to a diverse group of students all over the nation who believe the same things. It gives you a chance to worship in a way that very few get to experience with such a large group of believers. You hear stories and see things that will inspire you to boldly live for God in a messed up world. Finally, it’s probably the most fun you will have this side of Heaven with awesome friends, great cities, and people who believe in you a whole lot!
IO: How do you mentally prepare to preach to thousands at North American Youth Congress?
AB: Pray, pray, pray. Although it is slightly different than when I was a teenager, I take myself back to my early years and try to remember the struggles I faced and what helped me through. I listen to my students in my local church, read blogs, and listen to the news to get a pulse on the current student culture.
IO: What do you feel are your top two personal strengths and weaknesses and why?
AB: My strengths: 1. Most of the time I love being with people and helping them feel loved.
2. I married a godly, Christian woman.
My weaknesses: 1. At times, I tend to be a people-pleaser instead of a God-pleaser.
2. Sometimes I get angry too quickly and won’t let go of it.
IO: When and where did you receive your calling, and how did you prepare to fulfill it?
AB: I first felt that God had called me to preach. It was a very strong personal impression. Then my dad and mom confirmed it. A few years later, a visiting evangelist prophesied over me that I was indeed called to preach. Finally, my church saw it in me and gave me opportunities to speak in youth service and even in the main service at times.
I spent a lot of time immersing myself in the following: praying, fasting, studying the Bible for myself, listening to preaching, reading books on preaching, practicing in my room, and asking my dad and mom lots of questions. I’m still learning and preparing.
IO: What advice do you have for someone feeling a call to any aspect of ministry? What should their next steps be?
AB: Continue to pray about it. Ask your parents what they think. Set a meeting with your parents and pastor to talk with them about what you’re feeling, then listen to their advice—no matter how crazy it may seem (see II Kings 5). Listen to the voice of godly people in your life. God has put them there for a reason.
IO: How can the students take the North American Youth Congress fire to their homes and home churches and keep it burning?
AB: Pray it. Keep talking to God about what you’ve received, heard, and learned. It will build your faith, increase your understanding, and fill you with the wisdom you need to take the next steps.
Share it. An experience isn’t really complete until you share it with someone. Tell someone what God has done in your life.
Live it. Actions speak louder than words. Live out the changes God has made in your life. Be resolved that nothing is going to stop you from being a new person through what you’ve received.
Aaron Batchelor is scheduled to speak Friday, August 7, 2015 during the 10:15 a.m. teens split session.