Interview with NAYC Speakers: Stan Gleason
Yes! You heard it. North American Youth Congress is not that far away. 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 second evening speaker in OKC, our assistant general superintendent of the west, Rev. Stan Gleason. So, students, It’s my pleasure to introduce you to Rev. Stan Gleason.
InsideOut: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three items would you want to have with you and why?
Stan Gleason: If I was stranded on a deserted island and could have three items, I would want a helicopter, a yacht, and a GPS. Wait, that probably is not an answer given in the spirit of the question. If I could not have those items then I would want to have in my possession something to light a fire (matches, lighter), a tent—and if all communication devices were out of the question—a knife. I could be really spiritual and say a Bible, but I’m not sure that’s what you’re looking for either. In all reality, if I was stranded on a deserted island, because I have zero survival skills, I’d probably be dead in fifteen minutes. Just call in the coroner.
IO: Please tell us your favorite joke.
SG: Speaking of islands, one of my favorite jokes is about a guy who was finally rescued after ten years of being stranded on a deserted island. As the captain was pulling away in the rescue ship, he noticed three crude-looking shacks on the small island and asked the man why he had built them. The rescued man answered, “Well, see that building in the middle? That is where I lived. See that building on the right? That is where I went to church. And do you see that building on the left? That is where I used to go to church.”
IO: What is the funniest moment you have had while preaching?
SG: The funniest moment I had while preaching was the time I asked the congregation how many of them remembered what I had preached last Sunday. To my shock and awe, nobody raised their hand. Then I looked at my wife, and she shrugged her shoulders and smiled like she didn’t have a clue. Now I was truly devastated. Then, I hung my head and thought to myself for a moment, and so help me, I couldn’t remember what I had preached last Sunday either. At that moment I learned preaching is for the moment.
IO: Why do you feel North American Youth Congress is so important for students to attend?
SG: NAYC is vital for students to attend not only because it is well planned, organized, and delivered; not only because it is powerful, challenging, and life-changing; not only because you’ll miss the closest thing to Heaven on Earth if you don’t go; but also because it is awesome and revelatory to know you are not living an Apostolic life alone. Just look around at NAYC.
IO: How do you mentally prepare to preach to thousands at North American Youth Congress?
SG: When preparing a message to preach to thousands of students at NAYC, the first thing I do is lose lots of sleep. Secondly, I spend a lot of time chasing the butterflies out of my stomach. Thirdly, I try to prevent myself from a daily “Oh my God” involuntarily escaping out of my mouth. Seriously, after Brother Ensey invited me to participate, I began seeking the Lord immediately. Within a few days I felt like God had given me clear direction.
I am fifty-seven years old so I do not claim to know exactly where the students are generationally speaking. Although I still have two teenagers living at home, I do know what my generation needs to do in order to leave a legacy to follow. Some things will never go out of style: anointed relational preaching, touching God and letting Him speak, receiving a vision of future possibilities in God’s kingdom, and altar calls that leave you wanting more of Jesus in your life. To this end I give myself for the 2015 NAYC!
IO: What do you feel are your top two personal strengths and weaknesses and why?
SG: My top two strengths are probably people skills and communication skills. My top two weaknesses are probably following up on details and forgetting things people tell me in a crowd. Why? I have no clue, other than it’s the way I’m wired. My advice is to focus on your strengths, and get someone around you who is strong where you are weak. Also, always remember you are the most valuable where you add the most value.
IO: When and where did you receive your calling, and how did you prepare to fulfill it?
SG: I received my call into the ministry after my first year at Bible school. I matriculated at Bible school because I wanted to learn and prepare myself to do something for God but I had no sense of a “calling” into ministry. The Lord made it very clear to me in a prayer meeting on August 5, 1976 that His sure hand was upon my life, and He had called me to preach His gospel. Obviously after this encounter with God I was much more focused over the next two years in Bible school because I had purpose like never before. I applied myself to studying the Word and learning to pray. After I graduated I continued to keep myself on a trajectory of growth and personal discipline.
Through the years I have read countless books and attended meetings and conferences that would challenge me but also provide a barometer to make sure I was hearing from God and not out in left field. I am continuing my education while currently attending UGST and should graduate May ’15 with a MACM. When one man was asked to cut down a tree he replied, “How much time do I have?” They responded, “One hour.” He then said, “I will sharpen my ax for the first forty-five minutes.” Time spent in study, prayer, and preparation for ministry will make your ministry much more “cutting” and effective.
IO: What advice do you have for someone feeling a call to any aspect of ministry? What should their next steps be?
SG: My advice to someone feeling a call of God upon their life is:
IO: What are your long term goals for ministry and life in general, and what steps do you plan to reach those goals?
SG: My long term goals for ministry are simple: I want to reproduce myself in as many leaders as possible. I want to make sure The Life Church in Kansas City and the United Pentecostal Church will be fully Apostolic long after my departure. Therefore I am making investments in the next generation.
IO: How can the students take the North American Youth Congress fire to their homes and home churches and keep it burning?
SG: I am so proud of all the students who make great sacrifices to come to NAYC. The great atmosphere of NAYC has the potential to make a lasting impression. The truth is, however, events do not change us. Events simply give us new ideas and fresh perspective about our life and what we’re doing with it. Someone once said that change is inevitable, except from vending machines. A young person can dream about accumulating $1,000,000 in their lifetime, but it will require saving $25 per week for forty years to make it happen. The real change takes place after we get home and apply the vision, dream, anointing, decision, and the commitments we made during NAYC. Otherwise, nothing changes.
Stan Gleason and his wife, Marlene, came to The Life Church in 1989. Pastor Gleason graduated from Apostolic Bible Institute in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1978. From 1978-1989, the Gleasons were directed by God to evangelize, serve as youth and associate ministers and pastor. They served churches in West Jefferson, Ohio and Sturtevant, Wisconsin before being led to accept the invitation to lead The Life Church. In addition to serving The Life Church, Pastor Gleason serves the United Pentecostal Church as the assistant general superintendent of the western zone.
Stan Gleason is scheduled to speak Thursday, August 6, 2015 during the 7:30 p.m. general session.