Youth Pastor Spotlight: Jeremy Gifford

Jeremy Gifford serves as the youth pastor at Northpointe Community Church. He's hands down the funniest guy you'll ever meet. If you get a chance to spend some time with him, do it! He also serves as the District Youth Rep to the Greater Edmonton area. --

  1. What’s your full name? Jeremy Christopher Gifford
  1. Do you have any nicknames? pgiffy, Giff or Jer
  1. Are you married? Have any kids? How about a pet turtle? I am married to an amazing woman named Rachel. No kids yet and no pet turtle, but I’m working on trying to get a dog. So far it’s a no-go, but if we have kids first, I will convince our kids to convince my wife to get a dog. My master plan will prevail!
  1. Where did you grow up? I grew up mainly in Deer Lake, Newfoundland, the most beautiful place on earth!
  1. What’s your favorite TV show of all time? I would have to say, “The Office.” That show kills me!
  1. What’s your favorite song right now? Hmmm… tough question, but I would have to say, “O Praise The Name” by Hillsong Worship. That third verse tho?!?! HELLO!! Gets me every time!
  1. Do you remember when and where you were called to ministry? I am a Pastor’s kid, so I saw my dad ministering to others and as a young kid (around 6 years old), I had this desire to be like him and share the love of Jesus with others. This never left me. I always had this peace and assurance that that is what God wanted me to do.
  1. What’s the biggest mistake you ever made in ministry that you look back at and laugh now? I once told a room full of teens to, “don’t be afraid to crap your hands in worship.” Man, it took a long time to get everyone back from that laugh, and I was probably the one laughing the hardest!
  1. Have you ever left without a student on an event/camp/retreat? We left without a dad of a youth one time from Rexall Place for YC. He will NEVER let us forget that one lol.
  1. What do you enjoy doing outside of youth ministry? I love writing songs, playing music, golfing, watching documentaries, and hanging out and laughing with friends.
  1. What’s the worst injury that’s happened to a student at youth group? One time a student was worshipping at the altar, eyes closed, hands raised. He was doing the Pentecostal sway, back and forth. Then all of a sudden, BAM! He passed out and fell forward, smashing his face off the corner of the wooden stairs leading up to the stage. Blood was EVERYWHERE! He had to go to the hospital for stitches on his forehead. Some people thought he was just slain in the spirit, but it was more just the slain part. He was ok after visiting the hospital, but it was still an interesting thing to deal with in the middle of worship.
  1. All-nighters. Yay or nay? I am not a fan of all-nighters. I would rather swallow a live crocodile whole than do an all-nighter. We only do one a year, the city-wide one in Edmonton on New-Year’s Eve, Eve. The only reason why I do it is because the students enjoy it sooooo much. FOR THE KIDS!!!
  1. What’s the hardest part of being a youth pastor? Besides all-nighters? When you feel like you have been working so hard at driving a message home, your worship points to it, your speaking points to it, your small group time points to it, your social media points to it. EVERYTHING you do revolves around this one main message in a series you are teaching. Then all of a sudden, one of your students does something STUPID that only a teenager would do that is totally opposite of what you have been teaching. Then you begin to question if you are making a difference, or if what you are doing is getting through to anyone. Those moments are so frustrating and hard when it seems like you are going full-steam ahead, but you end up further back then when you started!
  1. What’s your favourite part of being a youth pastor? I’m a guy who loves to laugh and have fun, but hands down, my favourite part of being a youth pastor is seeing life transformation! It’s one thing for students to hear God’s Word when you preach it, or when you relay it to them in one-on-one mentorship, but it’s a whole new game when you see them take those words and live it out. When God’s Word starts to change the way they live their lives and you see that life transformation, that’s what I’m all about!
  1. Is there anything that you’re really excited about in the near future? Youth ministry-wise I’m excited about our Mexico Mission’s trip coming up in August. This is my fourth time taking a team down and it’s always such a highlight for me to do every second year. Personally, I’m excited to go on a couple of traveling journeys with my wife. We are heading to Missouri to marry Nathan Cooledge (one of our own youth pastors in Lacombe-woot, woot!), and we are heading to Newfoundland to visit my family in the summer. It’s gonna be legit!!!!