Ken is the Founder, President, and Emperor of JumpStart Ministries – an organization that helps churches get their youth ministries “up and running.” His ability to recruit and train both volunteer and professional youth ministers, along with assisting parents of teenagers to navigate those turbulent times, is why churches turn to him for help with their youth ministries.
Ken began his work with youth ministry in the fall of 1974 – that’s almost 300 dog years of experience! Along the way, he has:
- Served as youth pastor in four churches in four different parts of the country: Oregon, Minnesota, Texas, and Southern California
- Was one of the initial group of youth ministers to make the Willow Creek model of youth ministry viable in other churches
- Helped establish the National Network of Youth Ministries
- Founded JumpStart Ministries
- Has consulted with dozens of churches
- Served for two seasons as Chaplain of the San Diego Padres
- Helped to create the short-lived UnKommon Media – a before-its-time effort to give youth leaders a way to share their work with others online
- Is the Editor and key author of music- and media-based youth materials for Youth Leaders Only, a program that serves thousands of youth leaders
- Serves as President and Chaplain for the 352nd Fighter Group – men who flew bluenosed P51 Mustangs against Germany and helped save the world
- Serves as President of The Preddy Memorial Foundation – honoring the memory George Preddy, America’s top Mustang Ace in WWII who was killed by friendly fire on Christmas morning, 1944, and his brother Bill, who was also a Mustang pilot, killed a few months later while strafing a German airfield.
Ken loves to speak at youth events – camps, retreats, conferences, outreach events, etc. – and at youth leader gatherings. This quote is typical of what he hears after the event is over: “As a speaker, you knocked it out of the park. Our students came home saying it was the best weekend event they had ever been to. The weekend was fabulous from top to bottom.”
Besides his youth ministry chops, Ken is:
- The husband of Jeannie – the force behind the Soulmind online music/audio/written devotionals—they’ve been married since they were juniors in college
- The father of three grown children, and the grandfather of nine, count ’em, NINE grandchildren
- A decent guitarist, a veteran of the Guitar Wars of the past, and has played in contemporary worship bands for a long time
- A private pilot, but hasn’t flown as Pilot-In-Command for quite a while
- An “Apple” expert – people come to Ken for help with their Apple computers and devices
Ken is motivated to help churches create energetic, effective, and efficient ministries with teenagers. (Note the alliteration!) Churches should be able to take secular students from the point of contact to the place where students are influencing their world for Christ. He has learned that youth ministry isn’t what a church does for teenagers, but what teenagers do for God.