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Robert Seyler: Teaching Students to "GO"

Robert Seyler: Teaching Students to "GO"

Robert Seyler is doing the last thing he ever wanted to do as a college freshman: Teach. But if you ask him now, he would say he doesn't want to do anything else.

Robert SeylerRobert graduated in 1996 after studying as a Youth Pastor major at BBC. Now, he teaches Bible at Grandview Park Baptist School in Des Moines, IA, discipling and training students.

In 2003, Robert started "GO," a unique ministry in which Grandview Park students to reach out to local public school students. Focusing on servanthood, students greet and help visiting athletes, and serve a weekly breakfast at two local public schools.

The special ministry not only reaches area students with the love of Christ, but trains Grandview Park students in ministry through hands-on experience.

Originally from Birdsboro, PA, Robert and Kim (Hindal, '95) now live in Des Moines with their six children: Robbie, Emma, Jack, Malachi, William Wallace, and Ezra.

In high school I sensed the voice of God beckoning me to career ministry,but I would displace it with thoughts of a future in a more exciting, more lucrative occupation. As a junior, my parents asked me to go to Peru for a summer to spend time with a missionary because they thought it would help me align with God's will. After reading the book "Through Gates of Splendor" by Elisabeth Elliot, my heart was broken and I was soon burning to serve God in vocational ministry. Soon after that I began praying Jim Elliot's prayer: "God, I pray, light these idle sticks of my life and may I burn for You. Consume my life for it is Yours. I seek not a long life, but a full one, like You Lord Jesus." After graduation I chose BBC because my youth pastor, who was a key mentor in my life, was a graduate.

At first, I thought youth ministry was the"coolest" form of ministry. I was a little gun-shy about signing up to become an old preacher in a polyester suit, so I focused on the Youth Pastor major. Deep inside I chose it because I had a tumultuous time as a teen and God had been stirring my heart to reach out to kids like me. And, youth professors Dennis Wilhite and Mel Walker exuded such passion and joy about their time in youth ministry that I was inspired to experience what they had.

As a freshman, I had no idea that I would eventually teach Bible at Christian school. In fact, being a teacher was probably the last thing I wanted to do. But because of the quality professors and BBC's commitment to ministry leadership, I was more than fully prepared to teach, disciple, and train high school students to know and serve God. In fact, during my first few years teaching Bible, I used my college theology notes as our curriculum.

Looking back, I most appreciate BBC's uncompromising commitment to the Word of Godand their christocentric model of ministry. In my early years at Grandview Park it helped provide a rock-solid foundation for all of the voices, issues, and storms of ministry.

My most significant learning happened on the field, not in the classroom. I had so many professors and people who influenced me at BBC; I really enjoyed and learned so much from men like Rembert Carter, Joe Schloegel, Jim Lytle, Dan Hayden, and my youth professors. But the person who most influenced me was Coach Roger Jacobs. I learned more about faith, family, and ministry than soccer, and to this day I am deeply fond of him. He was like a father to me while I was at BBC.

I teach all of the high school Bible classes at Grandview Park Baptist School and also train students in outreach. In 2003, I started a ministry called "GO" (Grandview Outreach) where we train students in evangelism and also provide opportunities while they are in school to reach out to students in the local public schools. Jonathan Meyer ('94), a local pastor, has been a key person in assisting our school outreach program as well.

We believe teens are the greatest missionaries to the youth culture, so we train our students to reach the youth of our city. We don't want students to just sit and soak biblical information every day for 40 minutes, so we provide opportunities for them to get out of the classroom and share Christ to people in our city.

When athletes come to our school for a game, we have teams of students who reach out to the visiting athletes by giving each of them a bag of snacks with a handwritten letter about Christ in it. This often leads to questions, emails, and conversations about Christ. It's also a great way for 14-18-year-olds to learn to articulate the Gospel.

We also serve a free pancake breakfast twice a week at two local public schools. There, our students sit at tables with public school students, build relationships, and talk about life and faith with them. We have seen a lot of fruit from taking our Christian school kids into the public school to share the Gospel through benevolence and conversation.

Ministry is the most exciting thing I have ever done in my life, and it's the only thing I ever want to do for the rest of it. When I was first at BBC, I remember listening to Ken Rudolph talk about ministry. He was always so pumped up about it that I thought he either was on drugs or ministry really was that exciting. Now, 17 years later, I understand what his deal was because I absolutely love ministry. It is funny now to have students look at me strangely after I've been talking about how much I enjoy what I do and ask, "Say, ministry can't be that cool, can it?" And I just grin and say, "I thought that once, too." I love discipling teens and enjoy seeing their joy and passion for ministry grow.

The joy I get from seeing God at work in students' lives is deep and powerful. Few people are able to see what I see on a daily basis as a result of working with these teens. I wish more people could see what an incredible crop God is harvesting in Des Moines.


Contact Info:
Email: rseyler@grandviewparkbaptist.org

Baptist Bible College & Seminary offers outstanding Christian higher education through on-campus, online, and other distance learning options. Students go beyond the ordinary, learning to think biblically, grow spiritually, and serve faithfully as they gain critical leadership and life skills.

To learn more, go to www.bbc.edu or call 570.586.2400.


Posted on: 8/29/2013 1:05:21 PM

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