A Farewell to Youth Ministry


Original Picture (C) Phil Tharp 2013

This past Sunday, Pastor Ray Viola made an important Ministry transition announcement concerning the Youth Ministry here at Koinonia Fellowship. If you missed it, here is a brief 3 minute video.

Back in March of 2011, the Leadership Board here at Koinonia, gave me the amazing privilege, to lead the Youth Ministry. It has been an incredible 3 years and by God’s grace I was able to serve with, share the word, and see many young people meet Jesus as they entered their teen years, left  their teen years, graduate, go off to work, go to college, and some even prepared for marriage. 

It has been a journey that has been fruitful, satisfying, sometimes demanding, a few times heart breaking, but all the time worth it! And with every great journey that begins, each one has an ending…for me, through much prayer over the last year, discussion with my wife, family, and the leadership board, my season in youth ministry has come to an end.

As an Elder here at Koinonia, I will continue serving on the board and leading the Worship Ministry, interacting and leading teens in the worship team,  and attending to other related areas of ministry that arise. Though this season for me has come to an end, it is not the end of the Youth Ministry…it is the joyful beginning of a new chapter of a new work, with new opportunities and a new leader.

It is with great pleasure and thankfulness that we introduced to our church Family and  the new Youth Director of  Youth Ministry, Collin Zweigle.

The Lord has been preparing us for this young man for a while. My path with Collin actually has intersected on numerous occasions. I once heard from a friend about 6 years ago that there was a “young guy who lead worship that I needed to keep my eye on.” That young guy was Collin. Over the years Collin has ministered in a worship band that we have had at some of our events, and in life and ministry I have seen him from a distance and up close, demonstrate a faithful and genuine love for Jesus and others. He once even gave me a gospel track at Canandaigua Beach at a 4th of July Celebration! I was able to give it to some kids who didn’t know Jesus.

God’s sense of humor, providence and planning never cease to amaze me. I am very thankful for Collin and the way the Lord has brought him here and His plan, together for our church family. Collin is not just “stepping in” but in God’s design, he is bringing fresh vision, passion, and a pursuit of Christ with an aim to lead our young people as life long disciples of Jesus Christ who hit the target of His purpose for their lives

As Moses passed on the ministry to Joshua and Paul poured into Timothy, I am beyond blessed to affirm and introduce Collin as the new Youth Ministry Director. He is a graduate of the Calvary Chapel school of Ministry where he earned a Certificate of Theology, and his last ministry position was at Browncroft Community Church where he led a branch of their Youth Ministry.  Collin is currently a part-time student in his second semester at Monroe Community College. His desire is to transfer into Nazareth College’s Communication Sciences and Disorders program in the fall of 2015.

Collin has said, “I long to see young people thriving in their lives, embracing the identity God has given them, and finding a love and a purpose in Jesus Christ like they’ll never find anywhere else. This is why I am a youth leader.”

His love for Jesus and others is contagious; I pray you will welcome him into our Church family with open arms, and add him and the Youth Ministry Team to the top of your prayer list! In the coming months Collin will be sharing with you all his heart and his vision for the Youth here at Koinonia Fellowship. 

Thank you to every teen, parent, and Church Member who has supported, prayed, and invested in this area of ministry. It has been an amazing journey, with more chapters, victories, and testimonies yet to come. We never “stop” ministering to teens…I still have some of mine own! Thankfully, as God has been preparing me to step down, He has also faithfully been preparing somebody to step in!

May Jesus be continually glorified in all that we do…amen!

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