Jared Shipley is the new youth minister at the Los Alamos Church of Christ.
“Young people need a place where they can practice their faith, question it and grow in it,” Shipley said. “Church can’t be a social club. Christians have to go deeper than that.”
He plans learning and service projects, in addition to teen social events.
Shipley, 25, and his wife Sydnee moved to Los Alamos in late May to begin work with the church’s youth group. He had recently graduated from Ohio Valley University (OVU) in Parkersburg, W. VA., with a degree in Biblical studies and an emphasis on preaching.
He is focusing on getting to know the teens and their needs, getting acquainted with all the church members, and learning about Los Alamos.
“We are thrilled to be here and loving the community,” Shipley said. “It was the smoothest transition that has ever happened to me in my life. The church is really taking care of us. It’s such a beautiful thing when God’s people act like God’s people.”
He also is preaching once a month and doing some song leading for the church.
Shipley thinks it’s important for people to be consistent and authentic in all aspects of their lives—in their beliefs and their actions—with everyone they meet. He wants to lead the church youth group in the direction of loving and serving all people in the community, not just paying lip service to Christian caring, he said.
Shipley grew up in Dundalk, Md., near Baltimore. After turning 18, he began a two-year Adventures in Missions program at Sunset International Bible Institute in Lubbock, Texas. He participated in mission trips to Fort Collins,Colo., Mexico City, the state of Chihuahua, Mexico; and in the country of Ghana. He and Sydnee will return to Ghana in late July to help finish a church building under construction since 1917. Shipley hopes to preach the first sermon in the new building while they are there.
Jared and Sydnee met in college and married a little more than a year ago. Sydnee grew up in Salina, Ks., and Stillwater, Okla. She graduated from OVU with a double major in energy management production engineering and business administration. She is applying for jobs in her areas of expertise.
The couple has a deep compassion for souls and want to communicate that to the teens and all other persons they encounter, Shipley said, adding that they are deeply interested in serving Los Alamos teenagers.