Interview with NAYC Speakers: Nate Rios

Posted by: in 2013, Interviews, Youth Congress on July 6th

Our next interview for NAYC comes from Nate Rios of Columbia, Mississippi. He is scheduled to speak the youth workers session on Friday morning, August 9. So, students, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to Nate Rios.

InsideOut: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three items would you want to have with you and why?
Nate Rios: 1) Cell phone so I can follow Twitter

2) A solar charger so I can keep my phone charged to follow Twitter

3) A cell phone tower so I can get service to follow Twitter and tweet for HELP!

IO: Please tell us your favorite joke.
NR: A young Hispanic boy wanted to enter the United States, so the border man replied, “You must use a sentence that has three colors.” The young man thought for a moment and answered, “I have one. The phone went green, green, so I pinked it up and said yellow.”

IO: What is the funniest moment you have had while preaching?
NR: I was preaching at student Landmark while in college, and as I was preaching the wonderful Word of God, I proclaimed “God wants us to be men of God and women of men.”

IO: Why do you feel North American Youth Congress is so important for students to attend?
NR: It is important for Pentecostal young people to see other young people from all over the country living this life changing experience. The energy of thousands of young people gathering to exalt the name of Jesus is an energizing moment for students to be encouraged and inspired.

IO: How do you mentally prepare to preach to thousands at Youth Congress?
NR: Prayer is my starting point. It allows me to filter through my human emotions of nervousness and anxiety. From that point, I can find a clear moment to hear what God would have me to say. Preparation for my message begins the moment I am asked to preach anywhere as I will work thoughts through my head and start building the message in my head to hear what it sounds like. I then start putting structure on computer or paper. Once I am on site, I like to get a feel of the area where I’m preaching. Then I finalize my message.

I’ve always wanted to make sure I have heard from God in my due diligence, so when I arrive in the service, I will confirm in my spirit what I have felt with the elements of the service. There have been times where the service has moved from what I am feeling to what I feel the response of the church should be. In those times, I’ve felt God shift the message.

IO: What do you feel are your top two personal strengths and weaknesses and why?
NR: Strengths:

1) Passionate. I believe in doing everything 110% or not doing it at all.

2) Visionary. I believe God is able to do anything so I dream big or I don’t dream at all.


1) I don’t like to disappoint people.

2) I procrastinate.

IO: When and where did you receive your calling, and how did you prepare to fulfill it?
NR: When I was four years old, my pastor’s wife’s father prophesied over me that I would be a preacher. At thirteen, I felt a nudge to pursue this call. After I graduated from high school, my father asked me to attend one year of Bible college to confirm this call for myself. Upon the completion of my first year, I knew this was the path God wanted me to walk.

IO: What advice do you have for someone feeling a call to any aspect of ministry? What should their next steps be?
NR: Connect with your pastor and foster his voice in your life. Then, let your gift make room for you and don’t force yourself into anything. Ministry has many high points and victories, but it also has many dark and rough roads that can cause many frustrating moments.

IO: What are your long term goals for ministry and life in general, and what steps do you plan to reach those goals?
NR: 1) My main goal is to serve young people as a youth minister for the rest of my life.

2) Develop a strong consulting company for churches to gain support.

3) Provide a well-rounded non-profit tool to connect student pastors to their local school systems.

IO: How can the students take the Youth Congress fire to their homes and home churches and keep it burning?
NR: ACT1V8 what they experience everyday.

Nathaniel Rios is a veteran student pastor and currently serves the youth of Elevate Student Ministries at Woodlawn Church in Columbia, Mississippi. He has been a music ministry director, a youth pastor, youth director, and an evangelist in California, Texas, and Mississippi. His “Dream Big or Don’t Dream at All” approach to life has served him as he strives to see the biggest and best happen for the next generation.


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