Interview with NAYC Speakers: Jason Staten
Yes! You heard it. North American Youth Congress is not that far away. And NAYC 17 is chock full of anointed speakers and musicians who will be ministering in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis in just a few short months. We’d like you to get to know them before they preach to you and lead you in worship.
Our next interview comes from pastor from Lexington Park, Maryland, Jason Staten.
InsideOut: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three items would you want to have with you and why?
Jason Staten: 1. My Bible. Since I am providing this interview for Youth Congress, I think having my Bible is a must.
2. Toothbrush and toothpaste. I hate bad breath. I seriously have halitophobia.
3. Coffee. Not sure how to survive being stranded on an island without coffee.
IO: Please tell us your favorite joke.
JS: Probably any of the one of the many my seven year old daughter Dakota makes up.
IO: What is the funniest moment you have had while preaching?
JS: It wasn’t necessarily funny at the time, but looking back, it’s pretty funny. I had cut right above my lip while shaving that morning. As I was passionately preaching about the power of the blood, the cut opened up as though it were an artery and began flowing down my face, dripping onto my Bible and onto the pulpit. Many in the church thought I was having a medical emergency, and the sermon was cut short—probably the only sermon I’ve preached on the blood that our church won’t soon forget.
IO: Besides the Bible, what is your favorite book?
JS: Preaching with Freshness by Bruce Mawhenny. This book was recommended to me by Rev. Travis Miller when I was a very young and inexperienced preacher. It has since been a book I return to as somewhat of a textbook and one I recommend to other young preachers.
IO: How do you prepare to preach to thousands at North American Youth Congress?
JS: Pray. I listen to a lot of preaching of great preachers that motivates me and stirs the passion within me. I also have several great friends who have allowed me to share ideas with them and have helped me to prepare for what I pray will be a word that will encourage and challenge.
IO: Briefly share your testimony, especially from your life as a teen.
JS: I grew up in a church planter’s home. At the age of seven, my family moved to Maryland to plant the church in Lexington Park. While being the child of a church planter has many challenges, it also has many opportunities. In my early teenage years I was involved in teaching Sunday school, playing instruments on the worship team, and various other areas of ministry. My father was also very committed to developing young ministers, and I preached my first sermon at around eleven years of age. It was terrible, but I knew God was calling me to be involved in ministry. After graduating from high school, I attended Indiana Bible College for a short time before joining the Air Force. These few years were marked by several poor choices and God mercifully getting me back on the right track. Having the right people in my life helped me never to stray too far and helped me recover from bad choices.
IO: When and where did God call you to preach, and how did you answer you His call?
JS: I can’t really say for me that the call to preach was a moment—I feel like it was more of a process. As I stated, being a part of planting a church and being able to be involved in various areas of ministry gave me a tremendous sense of ownership in the church. Probably my greatest desire as a child was to do whatever I could to see our church grow and strengthen and support my dad’s vision. I also have always loved preaching. My dad has always had an incredible gift for connecting with his audience, and I weekly anticipated trying to figure out how he would accomplish a connection. I think the marriage of those factors birthed within me a call to serve the local church and connect people with the life changing message of Jesus.
IO: What advice do you have for someone feeling a call to ministry? What should their next steps be?
JS: First, commit to the call. You can’t be halfway between ministry and other ambitions. That doesn’t mean you can’t pursue other interests, but ministry has to come first.
Next, make sure your pastor is your pastor. We live in an hour of mentors and “voices” in our lives. While those voices and mentors are great, you need a pastor you are submitted to. A man who when he tells you something is wrong in your spirit, you get it right. A man who can correct you, instruct you, rebuke you, and encourage you.
Be a servant. Ministry isn’t about you. It’s not about how many followers you have on social media or sharing your infinite wisdom through the various means available. It’s about loving and serving people.
IO: How can the students take the North American Youth Congress fire to their homes and home churches and keep it burning?
JS: In order to ignite the field of the Philistines, Samson tied the tails of 300 foxes together and then lit them on fire. The exuberance of 300 on fire foxes completely torched the fields of the Philistines. Don’t go back home and do it yourself. Connect with others in your youth group. Verbalize and speak aloud the plans and dreams God births in you at youth congress. Connect with the various ministry opportunities the GYD has done an excellent job of making available such as AYC, P7, CMI, etc…
Jason serves as senior pastor at Living Hope in Lexington Park, Maryland with his four daughters and wife Valerie.
Jason Staten is scheduled to speak Friday, July 28, 2017 during the 7:30 p.m. general session.