We Had to Ask: Shay Mann
InsideOut: Are you an early bird or a night owl?
SM: By nature, and after nearly a decade and a half of youth ministry, I’m probably more of a night owl. My preference though is to be an early bird. There is nothing quite like the beauty of a sunrise and the freshness of a brand new day!
IO: What’s your favorite Starbucks drink?
SM: My faves are a Carmel Macchiato if I’m going with something hot and a Vanilla Bean Frap if I’m in the mood for something cold.
IO: Who was your hero when you were a kid?
SM: My older brother David, even though he tormented me daily, and my father. They were both very athletic and I wanted to be as good as them. I was also a big Ronald Reagan fan. I got hit in the face with a brick the same day that he was shot. I guess that I developed a special bond with him on that day. We exchanged get-well cards … not really!
IO: How old were you when you got married?
SM: My wife and I were both 22. I was born one day before she was.
IO: If you could change one thing about life in general, what would you change?
SM: It would probably be the enormous amount of hurt and abuse that is prevalent in our society today. It really pains me to see the way people treat each other sometimes. It’s a vicious cycle, somebody gets wronged or hurt and in turn they lash out and hurt someone else. I’d love to be able to change that!
IO: What’s crazy is that people don’t see how much damage they are causing, you know?
SM: Exactly, so much damage is done before they ever even realize what they are doing. It’s sad. How could someone abuse their own child, how could you inflict harm upon someone that you love dearly? But it happens constantly.
IO: Now that you are youth president, do you have any goals for our youth?
SM: Do you have a few hours? Seriously, I would like to restate a little of what I said to the young people in attendance at Youth Day this year at General Conference. I truly desire to see Pentecostal Youth become more educated concerning our message and more devoted to doctrine, yet equally anxious to engage a world in need by carrying out our God-given mission. One way this is going to happen is for us to move from a “stay saved” mentality and more into an “active service” mode. Another part of this is for young people to fall in love with truth and become students of the Word. Once again, this is not just about staying saved, but it is about being a strong and effective witness in this world. I would love to see “Bible toting” and “note taking” become a common and expected practice amongst Pentecostal Youth. Finally, we need to see young people connected to the mission of the church and to their personal God-given mission. One of the best ways for this to happen is for young people to be exposed to ministry opportunities in their local church, on the district level, and beyond. I believe that young people are ready to live highly committed lives; they just need to be awakened to a cause.
IO: Do you have a New Year’s Resolution?
SM: Yes, I haven’t quite finalized my resolutions yet, but I do resolve to be a better husband to my wife, Bridgette and a better father to my daughters, Breleigh and Blair. I also intend to restart the pursuit of my Masters degree.
IO: What do you feel the difference is between the church’s and the world’s view on relationships?
SM: First, let me say that there is a vast difference. I think that the obvious difference is that the world’s view of relationships seems to stem from a very self-serving and self-focused mindset. It’s all about what is in it for you and how you will benefit. The Bible’s teaching is diametrically opposed to this and instead speaks about esteeming others above yourself, turning the other cheek, and going the second mile. Even in marriage, the focus in the Bible is not on self, but on serving one another.
IO: Keeping relationships strong has to be a priority. How do we do that?
SM: To be concise, your relationships will only be as strong as the amount of time and effort that you are willing to invest in them. Because of that, we all must pinpoint the relationships that mean the most to us and then strategically work to make them a top priority in our lives. For instance, my relationship with my two daughters is huge to me. So, I try to schedule time for them weekly so that they aren’t constantly getting the leftovers of my life. It is the same way with your friends and family members. Your time communicates to them more than anything else how much you value your relationship with them.
IO: You’ve served as the editor for INSIDEOUT and now are moving on to be Youth President, do you have any final words as editor?
SM: Working with the INSIDEOUT Contributor Staff (Anthony Trimble, Ryan Johns & Kara Christian) to create the magazine has been one of the most rewarding things that I have been a part of in my four years at the youth division. It’s been amazing to hear the feedback and expressions of appreciation that have come our way from Pentecostal youth all over North America. INSIDEOUT is about challenging apostolic young people to truly become followers of Jesus Christ and to live a life that represents that commitment “for the world to see”. I believe that this vision will continue and INSIDEOUT will be better than ever under the guidance of our newly elected General Youth Secretary (and INSIDEOUT Editor), Daryle Williams. Welcome to the team Brother and Sister Williams!