Youth pastor hopes to revamp program

Custer County is welcoming a new youth pastor to the area. The Broken Bow Evangelical Free Church has brought in Brant Taylor, who formerly practiced in Columbus for 17 years. Brant’s full title is Associate Pastor of Youth and Family Ministries, with an emphasis on student ministry. In a nutshell, it means Brant is here to make sure the younger people’s spiritual needs are being met. His primary focus will be on assisting parents with the spiritual formation of junior and senior high students. When asked how he came about coming to Broken Bow, Brant told of a conference he attended last February in Columbus. There he met Pastor Scott Harvey of the E-Free Church in Broken Bow. Harvey and the leadership at BBEFC had been considering adding a new staff member to the team. Fortunately, the two had a similar philosophy and Brant was targeted as a potential candidate for the youth pastor position. Harvey was interested in getting his youth and student ministry revitalized and put together a committee to head the search. After numerous candidates and interviews, the committee decided on appointing Brant the new youth pastor. All in all, Brant thought the process had gone pretty quickly, considering the average time to find placement at a church can range anywhere from ten months to two years. The church had been without a youth pastor for many years and during the vacancy, several volunteers came forward to bridge the gap. These volunteers were Scott and Jennie Harvey, Craig and Candace Nichols, and Lonnie and Cindi McCullough. They kept the youth program going each week through small group Bible studies, church and community service projects and mission trips. Brant’s philosophy rests with having strong relationships with Jesus Christ, within families and with others. “We want to communicate to the kids that they need to help others because of the example of Jesus Christ,” is how Brant explained it. To enact this, he plans to provide relational networks and programming for junior and senior high students, to work alongside parents, and help the youth face the challenges of life and give encouragement along their spiritual journey. Once a healthy student ministry is established, Brant plans to branch out and help with parenting, strengthening marriages, and other family related issues. Basically, he’ll focus his time and energy towards helping families grow stronger and be available to help families work through diverse situations. Pastor Brant, his wife Susanne, and sons Brittan and Brennan, moved to Broken Bow mid-September, but it wasn’t until Oct. 3, that he became officially installed. When asked about how his family was adjusting to the move, Brant said, “We’re excited to be a part of a community this size again, because it’s closer knit and a great community to raise our children.” He then added, “We’re happy to be here in Broken Bow.” Next he went on to discuss the church and its helpful role in their relocation. Due to such direct involvement, Brant and his family have felt very welcomed, making the transition process easier. Looking toward the future, Brant hopes to continue building the student ministry to the point where students are providing leadership, engaging their friends with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and serving Him within the community and beyond. Pastor Brant wants to extend the invitation to any junior or senior high students who want to check out what’s going on, to come to the Broken Bow Evangelical Free Church. Junior High students meet on Wednesday nights from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. and Senior High students meet Sunday nights from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. During these meeting, there will be time for relationship building, worship, prayer, teaching, and small groups. Parents are more than welcome to come too!