We Had to Ask: Wayne Francis
InsideOut: Where did you go to college?
WF: I went to several schools but have degrees from Indiana Bible College and Indiana Wesleyan University. I have Bachelor’s Degrees in Theology and Business Management.
IO: How many times a week do you drink Starbuck’s?
WF: I drink Starbucks about once or twice a week. In the summer, my favorite drink is a Black Tea Lemonade Sweetened with 1/2 strawberry, 2 pumps of classic, 1 pump raspberry, and 1 pump melon. In the fall and winter I like iced caramel macchiatos and cafe mochas.
IO: Do you have a favorite iPhone app? If so, what and why is it your favorite?
WF: My favorite iPhone app is Twitteriffic, because I enjoy twittering. I have many friends that I follow, and I’m just intrigued by this modern form of connecting with people.
IO: If you could have lunch with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be with?
WF: Aside from her very liberal religious views, I’d probably like to have lunch with Oprah Winfrey. At a very young age she inspired my life with a statement she made. She said, “Excellence is a deterrent to ignorance.” I’ve tried to be excellent at everything I do as a result. That’s funny; she’s the first person that came to mind.
IO: Did you always know that you would be in youth ministry?
WF: Yes, I did. I got the Holy Ghost when I was 18, and in the early years of my walk with God I’d always pray this exact line, “God, let me be a blessing to young people.” I’d weep at altars praying that. I guess it’s because I was raised with knowledge about Pentecost through my grandmother, but I didn’t submit my life to God until late in my teens. I felt a commitment to try to inspire young people to give their lives to God early and to stay passionate for Him.
IO: So, you’re over promotions for the General Youth Division. What all does that entail?
WF: My job entails promoting the ministries of the GYD via print, media, and web. I create promotional brochures, videos, and websites with the assistance of a graphic designer. My job is really cool because I get to be creative all day! I express my vision to a graphic designer who interprets it, and we create useful promotions for our fellowship.
IO: What is a passage of Scripture that has strengthened you?
WF: The passage of Scripture that inspires me the most is Psalm 138:8: “The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me.” It’s my life verse. One translation reads it this way: “The Lord will fulfill his purposes for me.” My father-in-law, Arthur Thomas, told me that Scripture after I missed my plane for my first day of Bible college, and I questioned whether it was the will of God for me to go. He looked at me and quoted that verse, and now it’s tattooed on my spirit. It has guided me when everything was going wrong in my life and guides me with confidence that God has a purpose for me and will bring me through all things to accomplish His will through me.
IO: When do you have your prayer time in the day?
WF: My prayer time is at 6:00 AM. My days are usually very busy, and I have two daughters who get up early. I precede them when the house is quiet and my brain is clear.
IO: Is it hard to promote something to a generation whose culture changes every minute?
WF: No, it’s not hard. I think it’s all about analyzing the culture but not marrying it. I read a book entitled Branding Faith recently that said, “He who marries the spirit of the age will become a widower.” I think my job is to interpret the trends and speak the things that are eternal through it. You want things to look cool, but you want to customize it so that the people you are trying to impact can receive it. It’s a balancing act, though, and that’s the biggest challenge.
IO: It is a temptation to move with the current of everything that’s changing. How do we put our faith in a God that is never changing, when most people in our generation are believing in things that are always changing?
WF: There is much temptation to adapt to the culture, because our generation is constantly trying to figure out how to be conversant with the culture in a manner through which they can present Christ in a relevant way. Most err and end up camouflaging with the culture. Here it was—Acts 2—all the nations were gathered for Pentecost, and the Spirit was outpoured, birthing the church. Every nation under the sun was there, meaning every culture was there too! What a hodge-podge of sensibilities! However, they were amazed because they heard the people speaking their respective languages declaring the wonderful works of God. My take on this is simple—if we allow the Spirit to speak through us, every nation, every tongue, and every people will hear about the wonderful works of God and understand what the church is saying. Not only that, but it will set us up as it did Peter to answer the question of the ages, “What meaneth this?” That will allow us to respond with the doctrine and the gospel and see a great revival. It’s all about the Spirit speaking through us that will make us relevant. That’s where our faith needs to be. Sorry for preaching; I can’t help it sometimes.