Youth Pastor Spotlight: Ruben Valeny

Ruben at a glance:

  • Where were you born? Montreal, QC

  • Married? Nope

  • Kids? Spiritual Children?

  • What Church are you at? Mill Woods Assembly  

  • How long have you been there? Just coming about a year now!


Q: What’s your favorite city to visit?

A: Dubai or Bangkok. Most unreal places I’ve ever seen


Q: Favorite Movie?

A:  A tie between Dumb and Dumber, and Dickie Roberts


Q: Favorite Youth Ministry moment?

A: I got shot in the eye with a bb gun and had to go to the hospital on my very first night as a youth pastor. Gained automatic respect!


Q: What’s your least favorite fast food joint?

A: Taco Bell. I’m not very fun to hang around after that


Q: Any pet peeves?

A: People who wear sunglasses inside


Q: What’s the biggest mistake you ever made in ministry? What’d you learn?

A: I once played a game 2 months into my first ministry. We had to surround the contestants with duct tape, sticky side out (they had to roll around and pick up different things on the floor). Anyways, one of his friends pushed him and he fell to the ground without being able to protect himself. He hit his head so hard on the floor, we started to worry about him.

So we brought him to the hospital to get him checked out. When his mom walked into the room, he couldn’t even remember who she was. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT. I made someone have temporary memory loss!

Anyways, moral of the story is….even though i love duct tape, I never play any games with it.


Q: What do you enjoy doing outside of youth pastoring?

A: Sports (specifically soccer), hanging out with people, checking out coffee shops, Edmonton food festivals, people watching and eavesdropping on their convos


Q: What’s the best event you’ve ever done with students?

A: Caged Dodgeball Tournament with a $300 cash prize for the winning team. Had the mic come down from the roof WWE style and worked in the prison light vibe. It was insane haha


Q: What’s your biggest ministry struggle at the moment?

A: Honeymoon phase is over and now working towards culture change. It breaks my heart to see some students not wanting to engage with their own youth group. Praying for them and meeting with them believing that Jesus will change their hearts.


Q: If you could gather all the youth pastors in our province in a room, what would you want to say to them?

A:  There are so many unrealistic expectations for pastors, let alone youth pastors. The pastoral vocation is not your calling, the pastoral heart is. I’d want us to focus not on being better ‘pastors’, but essentially being better followers of Jesus. Changing our environments will exude out of that.


Q: Is there something that the youth pastors of the province can be praying towards for you?

A: I’m a walking gong show. So everything?


Q: Where can people connect with you online?

A: Slide into my DMs at @rubenvaleny on insta! That sounded weird lol. Sorry