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Worker Profile: Ken Wettig

SLAQ cohort with Ken Wettig

Ken Wettig (left) leads a discussion with SLAQ participants during Bike Shenandoah on September 17, 2022. Courtesy of Ken Wettig

Service program: transForm
Serving since: 2021

I serve as the initiator and director of a youth discipleship program called SLAQ (Servant Leader Quest) in which we seek to raise up diverse cohorts among the next generation of serving leaders in the way of Jesus through outdoor adventures, community service, and “crucial conversations.” We seek to do this by coming alongside both Christian families and the local church to create formative experiences that both support and challenge youth in developing the kind of character and leadership that we see in the person of Jesus.

For the most part my role is to: 1) Do program development along with our leadership team, 2) coordinate the various cohort activities, 3) support the young adult Serving Leaders as they step out into increasing levels of leadership, and 4) seek out ministry partners who believe in what we do and want to join in the adventure by supporting SLAQ through prayer, finances, and networking.

Biggest challenge:
The biggest challenge I face in my role is similar to that of any other ministry leader in the United States: time. We live in such a busy culture, and unfortunately the same is true for high school-aged youth as well. So, making sure the schedule is laid out months in advance, and that all the various pieces are well-communicated represents much of the challenge in this sort of ministry. Finally, just getting out of the way and letting the Holy Spirit work among the Serving Leaders and youth as they really own the learning experience is a challenge I hope to better meet in the coming year.

Biggest joy:
The biggest joy is the same every time, it’s the actual monthly cohort learning activities themselves. Every aspect of the cohort takes significant levels of behind the scenes coordination and planning, which can be taxing, but once that work reaches its intended purpose—our learning activities—it is all worth it. Whether the outdoor excursion, the community service, or the crucial conversations, the youth bring a lot of energy and excitement to everything we do, and I find it an honor to be a part of it every time.

A typical month:
Each month we roll through a series of three learning activities: outdoor excursions, community service, and crucial conversations. The SLAQ Day includes a Discovery Bible Study, before we all load into a 15 passenger van to head out for the outdoor excursion (hiking, biking, rock climbing, paddling, caving), then a time of quiet reflection and prayer of blessing. Our plans for community service are still being developed; the SLAQ cohort, with young adult serving leaders and two volunteer parents, will spend one weekday evening a month doing volunteer service work within the community. And each month we meet for crucial conversations: together as parents, youth, and pastors, we engage in a shared conversation on an important faith and culture topic.