Bishop Chip Edgar has appointed Hunter Myers, the Student Ministry Director at the Cathedral Church of St. Luke & St. Paul, as the ADOSC Canon for Student Ministry. Hunter will hold this part-time diocesan position while serving in his full-time capacity at the Cathedral. He is thrilled to step into this diocesan role and took the time to share more about himself and his dreams for ADOSC student ministry:
Why student ministry?
God directed my steps into student ministry back in high school. I became a Christian through a high school junior preaching Ephesians 2. However during my sophomore year, most of my friends left the church and deconstructed their faith in Jesus. I did not know how to answer their concerns and that troubled me in the deepest parts of myself. My youth pastor Jim offered a path forward without leaving questions behind, saying, “Bring your honest questions and trust that the Gospel is bigger and Jesus is always better.” That trust set me on a discipleship trajectory towards Bible college, deeper formation in Christian thought and philosophy, and ultimately to the beauty of student ministry in the life of the Anglican church. In walking with my peers, I discovered the life of God at work in young people.
But more than my own story, I love that Holy Scripture never attests to a ‘junior’ Holy Spirit or a ‘junior’ Gospel. Young people are catechized and invited into the fullness of the Gospel story and the life of God. Age and stage appropriate methods do not mean that we have to dumb it down!
Youth/student ministry exists to meet students we haven’t yet met, to call students to respond to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to form students in Christ, and to send students into their world to join the Holy Spirit in building the Kingdom. We get to partner with parents and the whole household of faith to follow Jesus daily with our young people! Yes, they need us to grow in Christ, but we also need them to grow into full maturity and to fulfill our mission.
What excites you about student ministry in ADOSC?
For decades, ADOSC has prioritized our young people, so student ministry leaders inherit a healthy culture to equip and empower young people to be disciples on mission. We have opportunities that uniquely position our parishes to reach young people in South Carolina and to lead in an increasingly post-Christian U.S. I get to help on the ACNA’s Student Leadership network, so I see that only a few dioceses have incredible student ministry leaders within driving distance who are actively collaborating together. In ADOSC, our student ministry leaders have the opportunity not just to network, but to also be a net that works together. Please forgive the pun, but it gets the point across!
What are your priorities for this year?
First, ADOSC student ministry leaders need to own the work of ministry in new ways together. I’m going to remain a practitioner on the ground like everyone else, so my role will be to re-think our existing teams then equip and empower our leaders to pull in the same direction with specific areas of responsibility. That’s great news, because our leaders have so much to bring! We’ll be better at student ministry when everyone can bring their God-given gifts.
Second, we have to care for one another. Parishes in property transition and planting need our support. So, I want to leverage my time and resources to encouraging, caring for, and empowering student ministry leaders in tangible ways they can receive. Of course, this care and support extends to all our student ministry leaders, lay and clergy, part-time and full-time, long-term or interim. We get to shepherd one another after our Good Shepherd.
Finally, we get to do something incredible: help launch Camp Jubilee! Rev. Canon Ken Weldon, Justin Johnson, and Ann Claire Gaillard lead the charge, and we get to follow their lead. Camp Jubilee will be a central way ADOSC student ministry meets new young people, proclaims Jesus to every generation, and forms disciples to lead and shepherd others. We only get to launch Camp Jubilee once, so let’s give it our best!
How can we pray for you?
Pray for my wife Karina and me (a.k.a. team Myers) as we settle in a new neighborhood outside of Park Circle called Whipper Barony, which sounds like a setting in a Dickens book. Pray for me as I pursue a Masters in Theological Studies from Gordon-Conwell, Charlotte, on the path of postulancy towards Holy Orders. Pray for my student ministry team at the Cathedral. Finally, pray for every parish to see our young people as full members of the Body of Christ. They will be the best Christ-like missionaries to their peers, so let’s equip and empower them for that call.