Hey Im Justin,
I work with Jr. High students at Mariners Church, a large influential multi-campus mega church in beautiful Southern California. I Love my Church, like really love it. We exist to transform ordinary people into passionate followers of Jesus who fearlessly change the world. I get to watch this take place at the ground level with some of our youngest people.
I get to work with one of the most talented teams in the world, I love them. We work together to make ministry happen for students and families every week. They all have a passion not just for ministry but for Jr. High ministry and all the joys and stresses that it entails.
I was born in New York City and was adopted and raised in Buffalo NY. Growing up playing hockey, eating chicken wings and watching the Bills and the Sabres NOT win championships. I was raised Jewish my whole life until I was 7, at that point my dad left and me and my mom didn’t really do anything faith related. We stared going to church and it was a very big deal. The picture of the heavenly father was one i could really get behind especially since I didn’t have a father around. Well it was a nice faith, a pretty faith but when I was in High School I was quick to walk away when adversity hit. That all changed in college.
When I was 19 I had a life changing meeting with Jesus Christ, and it set me on a path that would define the rest of my life. He, in no uncertain terms called me out of the life I was living. See I didn’t really know what really living as a disciple was all about. I knew I had to start attending a church, so I did. So then I knew the only next step was to serve, so I went to my college pastor and he set me up serving in the High School Ministry at the Chapel at Crosspoint in Buffalo NY. I knew that I was on to something new and big, it was a Calling. I felt the clear and distinct call to ministry on my life. So I decided to get an education.
I left NY for college in Missouri, where I spent 4 years of my life studying youth and family ministry. There I was part of a group that formed a brotherhood called SOTMO that is still a vibrant group that meets, prays and keeps each other accountable to this day.
I took my first out of college job in Huntington Beach overseeing Jr. High Ministry at Christ Presbyterian Church. 153 Untorn Student Ministries was resurrected from my own Jr. High days. After a year and a half I felt God tug me to a new opportunity at a very different church.
I took a fearless risk and left what knew for what I believed God knew. I accepted a position at Mariners Church in Irvine California to work on its Jr. High team. After 8 months of working I was asked to step in and become the Jr. High Pastor for the church. I have the best job, the best team and the best group of families I could ask for.
Although as fun as that story is, as fun where God has brought me as a Pastor, it is all second to meeting my wife. My beautiful wife Brittany is everything God promised me in a wife. She is loving, compassionate and a lover of Jesus. The best for our lives together is ahead of us.