Interview with NAYC Speakers: Kristin Keller

Posted by: in 2013, Hyphen, Interviews, Youth Congress on July 20th

Our next interview for NAYC comes from Kristin Keller of Lancaster, Ohio. She will be speaking at the Hyphen young adults split session Thursday morning at 10:15 AM. So, students, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to one of your Hyphen speakers, Kristin Keller.

InsideOut: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three items would you want to have with you and why?
Kristin Keller: A hammock, a good book, and a Diet Coke. I might as well pretend I am on vacation if I am stranded!

IO: Please tell us your favorite joke.
KK: My favorite joke is told every time (and I mean every single time) I go to a Chinese restaurant with my dad. We get through the meal, and I know it is coming as he reaches for the fortune cookie on the table. He breaks it open. Then, with a look of panic on his face, he says, “Mine is handwritten and it says ‘Help, help, I’m being held hostage in a Chinese cookie factory!’” It gets me every time!

IO: What is the funniest moment you have had while preaching?
KK: My funniest platform moment happened when my stiletto heel went through the floor and got stuck. Of course, when my foot dropped four inches into the floor, it looked like the Holy Ghost hit me. So I simply let out a high-pitched “whoo” in my mic so no one would think anything happened except for a Holy Ghost fit!

IO: Why do you feel North American Youth Congress is so important for students to attend?
KK: North American Youth Congress is important for students to attend because it allows them to see other young people God has chosen from this generation to be a part of His army. It is a great environment for youth groups to become unified and set on fire for God. There is something powerful about young people hearing messages and seeing other students their age respond to them in the same way they do. It is a great reminder that they are not the only ones who have daily struggles with certain things. Others will go back to an empty home that has been broken, and others deal with rejection and low self-esteem just like they do.

What’s even more powerful are the times they see other young people just like them worship God with every fiber of their being. They see them stay connected to God and the church even when their lives are in chaos. They see others make commitments to stay on fire for God and leave changed, ready to go into all their world. It’s a three-day reminder that no matter what they have gone through or what they are currently facing, they can make a difference and an impact in their world for Jesus Christ!

IO: How do you mentally prepare to preach to thousands at Youth Congress?
KK: The mind is an interesting thing. It is the battleground of choice for our enemy. I Corinthians talks about having the mind of Christ. This is vital because the enemy would love nothing more than to control our thoughts because our thoughts control our actions—“for as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). The place we think and process the messages God gives us to speak is from the exact area the enemy likes to mess with: our mind. This is why I must bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (II Corinthians 10:5). Staying in the Word and keeping my thoughts on Him will help me mentally prepare to speak the message He gives me.

IO: What do you feel are your top two personal strengths and weaknesses and why?
KK: My top two strengths would have to be organization and multi-tasking. I am a very organized person and also able to multi-task pretty well. I always have quite a few irons in the fire and I’m able to juggle several big projects at the same time. While this can sometimes feel exhausting and overwhelming, it keeps me busy and my life consistently moving at a fast and exciting pace. I am never bored!

My top two weaknesses would have to be time management and saying “no.” I am almost always late. I do not allow enough time for things to get done, which catches up to me when I need multiple things done at once (which is where being a good multi-tasker helps—ha!). I also struggle with saying “no.” Sometimes I feel like I cannot say “no,” and before I realize it, my spiritual disciplines become overtaken with doing ministry stuff. Yes, doing a work for God is important, but more than me being busy for Him, I must have a relationship with Him. Saying “no” to constantly running around allows me to spend more personal time with Him. Doing this cultivates a relationship with Jesus Christ that helps my kingdom work be more effective and productive.

IO: When and where did you receive your calling, and how did you prepare to fulfill it?
KK: In 2007, God called me to lead worship. I believe the four years I attended Indiana Bible College studying the arts and music prepared me for this season in my life. The past six years I have had some of the most incredible opportunities to lead worship that were way beyond what I could have ever dreamed possible. This is why I am thankful God doesn’t leave it up to us because we can’t dream up what God can make reality. Recently, I have felt a major shift in my ministry. I am trusting God through this transition and relying on prayer and fasting, getting in the Word, and allowing mentors to help me navigate through this time of trusting God to show me the direction He has for my life and ministry.

IO: What advice do you have for someone feeling a call to any aspect of ministry? What should their next steps be?
KK: If you feel called to ministry, it is important to connect with your pastor. Connecting with your pastor will allow him to plug you into ministries in the church that will enhance your growth in God, teach you the art of servanthood, and prepare you for the ministry God has called you to. Stay faithful, stay connected, and stay consistent in keeping spiritual disciplines activated in your life. You might be surprised what the season of preparation holds for you as you wait on God to open the door to the ministry you feel He has called you to!

IO: What are your long term goals for ministry and life in general, and what steps do you plan to reach those goals?
KK: As I mentioned previously, there has recently been a major shift in my ministry. I have never been shown what God has for me long-term; He chooses to lead me step by step, and I literally mean one step at a time. Since I am a person who likes to plan way in advance, I know He specifically chooses this ministry process for me because it requires me to let go of the way I would like it to happen and trust His way. My long-term life goals are to finish my education, establish a career path connected to my ministry, and to have a family. If I had followed the plan I had for my life, I would not be who I am or where I am today. He has an expected end for me (Jeremiah 29:11) and I cannot wait to see what it is!

IO: How can the students take the Youth Congress fire to their homes and home churches and keep it burning?
KK: Keeping the Youth Congress fire ablaze can happen through a lifestyle of active spiritual disciplines. The key to maintaining spiritual disciplines is not giving up when you begin to slip away from consistently maintaining them in your life. For example, your goal might be to read the Bible everyday when you leave. And you find that you can do that for a couple weeks, then you notice you get busy with school and homework and miss a day or two, or even a week or two. This is not a free pass to quit. Re-activate the discipline by starting back up right where you left off. We all have moments where the spiritual discipline flame begins to fade, but when we recognize the fire is not as hot as it used to be, it is our job to simply pour some gasoline on it and re-ignite the passion to maintain the personal commitments made at NAYC!

Kristin serves as administrator for Hyphen, the new young adult ministry of the General Youth Division. She also serves as worship leader, promotions director, and assistant director of arts and music at New Life Christian Center in Lancaster, Ohio. She was driven by her passion to start {ymi}: a young adult ministry in 2010 after serving in LiveWire Student Ministries for five years.

Kristin is a closet nerd. In 2005 she graduated from Indiana Bible College with a bachelor’s degree of arts and music and in 2007 from Liberty University with a master’s degree in business administration, specializing in international business. Currently, Kristin is pursuing a doctor of worship studies degree at the Institute for Worship Studies.


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