Brian Hanson: Influencing Influencers

Brian Hanson: Influencing Influencers

For more than two decades, alumni Brian and Mandi Hanson have been doing what they love: youth ministry. Most recently this has been at Grace Baptist Church in Cedarville, OH.

Brian Hanson Now, the Hansons are transitioning into the ministry of Gatekeepers, a global outreach strategy that works in the arenas of sports, politics, and business. The Cedarville-based ministry will further develop Brian's already solid relationships within the community.

Working with Association of Baptists for World Evangelism, the Hansons are raising support for the full-time work of Gatekeepers.

Brian (89) and Mandi (88) have four children - Melanie, Caleb, Brianna, and Hayden - and currently live in Cedarville.

Although I was planning to attend another college, Jim Huckaby called me about a week before school began and convinced me BBC was the place for me. I believed him, and it was the right place for me. Don Trott and Coach Huckaby were the ones whose paths crossed mine regularly at a variety of events. It was through those contacts, along with a visit during high school, that I was comfortable with the school.

I always knew I wanted to be a youth pastor and BBC was one of the few places at the time that had a real program devoted to that ministry. God started working in my life as a young teenager, with the opportunity to work at Camp Manitoumi in Illinois. Early on I saw God was using me to spiritually influence young people. I was in the youth ministry program and it was a perfect fit for me.

Although I didn't get much game time on the basketball court, I did spend a lot of time in practices with my team. My coaches and teammates were hugely influential in forming my behavior patterns and attitudes, giving practical life experiences. The professors opened my eyes to a whole new world of the Bible and gave me an incredible foundation for ministry. I would be remiss to not mention the influence of dorm life. The relationships built there are some of my closest friends to this day.

I am not a systematic theologian, but I do have a solid grasp of Scripture that has been hugely instrumental in ministry. You think you know Scripture until you sit in a Bible class, until you have to preach it, until you have to defend it. BBC put me on a track to where I know Scripture. I have used it in so many different settings - from teaching teens in our churches and preaching to our congregations to speaking at camps and training pastors and youth pastors around the world. The training all started at BBC.

God has opened some unique doors of opportunities. For the past 13 years, I have had the privilege of opening the Ohio Senate in prayer, having Bible studies and times of prayer with senators and state representatives. Because politics has always interested me, it has been the thrill of my life to have an influence in this arena and build relationships with men and women of influence on both sides of the aisle.

I have also had the opportunity to be the chaplain for two sports teams. One a state university football team whose coaches we meet with every week for Bible study. A number of them have come to faith in Christ. I also meet with players regularly and have seen over 35 professions of faith in Christ the last two years alone. I have access to the team at any time and any place. The other is a semi-pro hockey team, whose players and coaches we meet with regularly for Bible study.

We are transitioning to a new ministry called Gatekeepers. This is not a sports ministry because of the political spectrum, but neither is it solely a political ministry because of the sports spectrum. These are people that have large influence over their various communities. God has allowed me the opportunity to influence influencers and we believe He is going to grow this ministry to national and global development, stretching to unreached people groups. We have a heart for the highly influential because when Scripture says that "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of Heaven" (Matthew 19:24), it is speaking to the wealthy, famous, or powerful person. This is under the umbrella of the ABWE mission agency. We are beginning to launch this now and raising support.

Contact Info:
Phone: 614.507.6220

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Posted on: 4/19/2012 1:09:45 PM

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