Jerry Hines: Influencing Young Lives

Jerry Hines: Influencing Young Lives

Jerry Hines is right where he wants to be. As student ministry pastor at Woodside Bible Church in Troy, MI, he teaches, leads, encourages, and inspires young people.

Jerry HinesWith nine campuses in the Metro Detroit area, Woodside hosts nearly 7,000 people each Sunday. Jerry interacts with high school and middle school students, organizes the Woodside student ministry program, and serves as a member of the church's teaching team.

A 1997 BBC graduate and a 2000 graduate of BBS, Jerry and his wife Bekah (Holdridge, 97) have three children and live in the Utica, MI area.

When he has free time, Jerry enjoys fly-fishing, playing the guitar, baseball, and Starbucks coffee.

We meet with students every Sunday night for about three hours. We include a full dinner every Sunday night as well. The program includes worship, creative communications, videos, skits, dramas, and interactive games. I speak for about 20 to 25 minutes, and then we break up into small groups. We have it all tied in to one night, so we can find out who the students are and give everyone an opportunity to interact.

My role here is threefold, I serve as the high school pastor for the Troy campus, the student ministry pastor over all the campuses, and I am part of the teaching team.

Woodside is a multi-site church. Campuses range in size from about 150 to about 700, with about 4,500 at the Troy campus. Overall, we have about 7,000 people coming to our church on a weekend. On a regular Sunday night, we typically have about 600 to 700 students church-wide.

We planned five mission trips for our students last year. We had over 300 middle and high school students participate. We went to a Missouri special needs camp, Detroit, Trinidad, and to Haiti twice. We spent time in those areas interacting with orphanages, organizing vacation Bible schools, visiting prisons and hospitals, and getting work done on different projects in the city.

Working together with other student ministry members on opportunities and on large group, multi-site outreach events has been really cool. It has meant seeing you can interact together and be one church even though you have different locations. It is great because we have great staff at all the sites. We have a good team and it is a lot of fun.

The multi site aspect is a challenge. A church ministry looks different when you are dealing with different demographics and trying to have the DNA of one church replicated among multiple sites. In the past, the church experiences I have had and everything I have learned has been in the context of "this is our church, this is who we are." Multi-site has offered me some good challenges.

Family-centric ministry is something I have really learned about. This is something that wasn't really popular 15 years ago. Back then we thought we needed to have a youth ministry that was really hip and cool, with lots of activities just for students. In a sense teens were segregated from the church population. Something we have realized over the last couple years is that this can be very damaging. When they are done with student ministry, they have little or no interest in engaging with the church. We have made some serious efforts to move activities off Sunday mornings so students have the chance to be a part of and serve in the church.

I was really impacted by my youth pastor when I was in high school. I wanted to impact people like that. For me, youth ministry was never something I thought I would move on from. I really enjoy the phase of life that students are in. I like spending my time figuring out how to encourage and inspire them.

One of the things I really appreciated about my education at BBC is the expositional biblical approach that was taught on how to study scripture. BBC gave me a great foundation and taught me how to truly understand scripture in context and in the original languages to give me an accurate picture of what the Bible is saying.

I love student ministry and I feel like I have the best of all worlds. I get to plan trips and events and really thrive and enjoy that. At the same time, I am getting a lot of experience on the teaching team, forming messages for the church body, and enjoy speaking and the challenge that brings. Woodside is a place where I can be on a team, integrating the students into the church body, with opportunities to minister to the family not just the students. If I am in the same place five years from now, but just better at what I am doing, I will be happy.

Contact Information

Baptist Bible College & Seminary offers an outstanding Christian education through on-campus, online, and other distance learning options. Students go beyond the ordinary, learning to learn and serve with excellence as they gain critical leadership and life skills.

To learn more, go to or call 570.586.2400.

Posted on: 1/9/2013 9:20:00 AM

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