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|Title||Director of Youth and Family Ministries|
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|Bio||Janet Renick began serving as Director of Youth & Family Ministries at Christ Lutheran 33 years ago, staying for almost 13 years, then working in two churches in Northern California for 17 years, and then returning again to Christ Lutheran in August of 2007. She writes:
When I began this career 33 years ago, Youth Ministry was still in the infant stages of being a profession. My high school years were really not that bad, but in my opinion back then, they were awful. I was shy and kids were mean. But in my spiritual world, it was different. I could not get enough of church and God’s Word. One of my most memorable experiences was attending a National Youth Gathering in Houston. I went with my youth group the summer before my Junior year. The theme, “With Eyes Wide Open”, truly did open my eyes to what it meant to have a personal relationship with Jesus. I took my little tape recorder and captured voices from some incredible people of faith, all of whom I very much remember. That event left an everlasting impression on me that changed my life forever. However, my ultimate dream at that time was to be a Spanish Interpreter at DisneyWorld. Little did I know what was to come!
During the summer of ‘75 I left my family in Florida and went on a short mission opportunity to California to be on a Lutheran Youth Alive Team. This had been a very confusing time in my life, because I had applied for this team, but initially got rejected. But then God gave me a vision (literally) in which the message was to “follow Me.” The next day the phone rang & my name was next in line to go on the Lutheran Youth Alive team. Our team of 5 young adults was sent to Northern California, where we went from church to church working with youth in those congregations. It was such an exciting summer—I even preached on the radio (!) at Grace Lutheran in Palo Alto! It was that summer that I heard God calling me into Youth Ministry. Following that summer, I went to college at Azusa Pacific where I graduated with a double major in Religion/Bible and Communications, plus a minor in Youth Ministry.
So...many years have come and gone, and I have long-outlived many of my colleagues in the field of Youth Ministry. I know of very few lay people who have stayed in the Profession of Youth Ministry for so long. It’s quite a milestone. Why have I stayed? Not because of a super-flashy program, or an extra measure of endurance, but because of my passion to be a stable mentor in the lives of young people whose worlds’ are constantly changing (and sometimes falling apart) and who so desperately need the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Frederick Buechner defines “passion” to be “when your deepest hunger and the world’s deepest needs meet”. I desire to equip these young saints for the working of the ministry (Ephesians 4:11-12). I have discovered that most youth have four basic needs: 1) a personal loving relationship with their Creator; 2) several adults (especially parents) who will stand behind them & beside them; 3) to know that they make a difference in this world; and 4) to have a date to the prom and hope for the future.
I am a little crazy, introspective, left-handed (I would give my right arm to be ambidextrous), blush very easily, am compassionate, have had very few cavities, am single with a knee that goes out more than I do, love the color purple, have naturally curly hair, love nutty coconut ice cream, Starbucks and Yogurtland, and am in love with Jesus, Ken Medema and his music, and my cat, Patty. My family lives in Daytona Beach, Florida, where I spend Christmas every year.
My two big claims to fame are the dancing hair trick and being able to say the Superman call backwards in addition to co-writing the musical “See!”, based on John 9 – the healing of the Blind Man. My friends call me "J.R."