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As the youth and young adults pastor at Royal Oak Victory Church in Calgary, Alberta, I have been serving the next generation for just over 5 years. Over my time of doing this I have learned many things that have helped to reach students from all walks of life and all faith levels.

tenet10One of the biggest things that we have learned is that vulnerability is key when it comes to reaching students and seeing lives changed.  Vulnerability does not come easily, but connection leads to vulnerability, vulnerability leads to trust and trust leads to life change. 

“Life change doesn’t come through isolation, it comes through community.”

Most people live their life by keeping their hardest moments, their sicknesses or mental illnesses, and certainly their shameful sin hidden. Human nature leads us to try and do life alone and to go through life’s hardest moments in solitude and we tend to isolate ourselves when the challenges come. Yet life change does not come through isolation, life change comes through community and we need to find that community and draw help from it. We need to find the people who can lead us into the future, not hold us back in the past. We have seen God move in incredible ways over the past 5 years and this has come through consistency. 

The average youth pastor lasts at a church for 2 years and the students are the ones who experience this statistic first hand. The next generation values authenticity, and vulnerability and by having a short-term mindset we are creating an environment that doesn’t just lack trust, but it also pushes them away from the start. We need to pursue the next generation and not run away from them. They are our up and coming leaders with the intellectual ideas that will guide the church into the future. When they speak listen, when they are creative encourage them, when they are vulnerable love them, when they struggle cry with them and when they succeed, celebrate with them.  Let’s be a part of shaping the future, by giving our all to the future. 


Pastor Dustin Bennett
Royal Oak Victory Church
Calgary, AB