In the youth ministry world there are a lot of big names. Men and women that God has used to influence a large number of us. I grew up reading their books, attending their seminars and following their advice. This isn’t about them. Those big names are awesome and I am thankful for them, but this past year I have met some really awesome youth workers that are perfectly content with flying under the radar. I want to share their stories with you because they have shaped and formed my opinion about what great youth ministry is all about without having the national recognition they probably deserve. This series of blog posts is an attempt to share their powerful stories with you.

Kelli Woodard
Kelli is a friend of mine from college. She was an intern with me and went on to spend a number of years working with at risk teens. Although she isn’t a youth pastor at a church, she passionately loves teenagers and wants to share Jesus with them. Recently, she has taken in a teen refugee named James. As I have followed her story over the past couple of months with James I am amazed at the great amount of Jesus-y compassion she has. When it comes to caring for teens, Kelli jumps in and gives her whole life to them. She cries over them, walks with them, and opens herself fully to them for the sake of the kingdom. I admire Kelli probably more than any youth worker I know because she is a shining example of someone who paid the cost for showing teenagers the love of Christ.