Youth Pastor Spotlight: James Clarence

Quick Facts:

  • Name? James Clarence
  • Place of birth? Devon, Alberta, Canada
  • Married? Yes, to Karina Clarence
  • Kids: Nope, ain't nobody got time fo that.
  • What Church are you at? First Assembly, Calgary.
  • How long have you been there? Four years.

Q: What’s your favorite city to visit? A: Portland - best food - best sights - best coffee - great people.

Q: Favorite Movie? A: Home Alone 1

Q: Do you remember when and where you were called to ministry? A: Yes. It was at Sunnyside Camp 2007 through a prophetic word from Pastor Steve Osmond.

Q: What’s your least favorite fast food joint? A: Arby's = throw up in my mouth.

Q: Any pet peeves? A: Slow People (Example: drivers, skiers - people who snooze)

Q: What’s the biggest mistake you ever made in ministry? What’d you learn? A: Getting angry with people and publicly calling them out on a Microphone. I learned that people don't have to have it my way - people don't have to be at church - they choose to and I don't need to ruin it because they aren't falling in line with what you'd envision or desire for the night and or their life. HA!

Q: What’s your favorite piece of tech for doing youth ministry? A: #groupme

Q: What do you enjoy doing outside of youth ministry?  A: hanging with friends - eating - Watching and playing sports. I LOVE SPORTS. Exploring the world.

Q: Do you have a particular area that your focusing on right now with your students? Why? A: mentoring/discipleship - that is the only reason why we should do ministry because it’s the model Jesus had given us before he left to extend the kingdom to the world. If we are not investing and mentoring into people - we are just “playing” church and making ourselves feel good by having a COOL Instagram account.

Q: Yea or nay to all-nighters? A: I like em. - tough on leaders - mischief can happen easily, but sometimes yeah gotta risk it for the biscuit - YA KNOW WHAT I’M SAYING!

Q: What’s the best event you’ve ever done with students? A: CHURCH! Doesn't get any better than hanging with JESUS CHRIST - JEHOVAH GOD ALMIGHTY!

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 is nothing more fun than encountering God and seeing your students encounter God. It easy to do comfortable / “safe” ministry, entertaining students and having a HYPED party - but simply, the best thing you can do is DREAM BIG for their lives and create a place where they can connect with the God of the universe, great leaders and give them opportunity to start great, lifelong friendships.  Don’t compare your ministry with other youth ministries - you're on the same team. Don't quit because it’s hard and the growth you wanted didn't come in the time frame you imagined it. Stick it out, dream big, lead strong, be faithful and let God show up every time you meet. Don’t do your youth night without God.  Also, don't make youth ministry a stepping stone - it’s the best time you'll ever have in your ministry career - I GUARANTEE IT.

Q: What’s your favorite part of being a youth pastor? A: Getting the great privilege to seeing a young person have the “click” with God - where things just change in their life because they encounter the RADICAL LIFE TRANSFORMING LOVE OF JESUS. Usually, for me, my tell is when you see them lifting their hands in worship when no one asks them to. They are just WITH Jesus, and they don’t care who sees.

Q: Where can people connect with you online? A: Text me at +1-587-435-9056 or Email - james.clarence@fa.church