Youth director brings new life to Faith United
February 28. 2014 9:49AM
Michael Fredrickson isn’t the first youth director at Faith United Presbyterian Church in Brandon.
But he’s become known as one of the best to serve the congregation's youth, according to Pastor Chuck Asche, lead pastor at Faith United.
“In the short time he’s been here, he has increased interest and attendance in all of the programs he is leading,” Asche said. “Michael is fitting in extremely well here. He’s a young man in his early 20s and is relating very well to the kids.”
Fredrickson estimates there are 35 to 40 middle and high school students that he works with in the congregation, and says is job is ideal job for him.
“It’s not every day that you get to hang out with youth,” he said. “That’s what I get paid to do. How cool is that?”
Fredrickson, 21, joined the staff at Faith United in mid-December after learning about the open position from his parents, both members of the church. The recent Crown College (theology and Bible major) graduate, located just west of Minneapolis, was working part-time as a youth director in Minneapolis before accepting a similar full-time position here.
“My job spans far beyond (the youth),” he says. “Of course, my duties are to create unique opportunities to connect with the Lord, but I’m also reiterating very close and personal relationships with Christ.”
Fredrickson said he is excited to be working alongside Pastor Asche and John Smithback, youth pastor, at Faith United.
“It’s a team effort,” he says. “And growing up is hard … it’s a complex street but kids need to be reached … to realize God has a purpose for their life, and that’s pretty big.”
He’s reaching out to the kids through weekly youth meetings and special events, such as cosmic bowling and skiing. And this summer, he’s planning ultimate Frisbee events, bonfires and a mission trip.
“But I want to do more than that,” Fredrickson said.
Coming up soon, Fredrickson will lead the congregation’s youth in a prayer walk, as they go door-to-door in Brandon asking to pray for people, he said.
“We do a lot of fun events as well as spiritual, uplifting events,” he said. “I was close with my youth pastor, so I know the influence I can have. And I cannot imagine anything more of an honor than to share that with our youth.”
Fredrickson said he felt the call to ministry early on in life.
“I remember being a young kid and one day in church in northern Minnesota, the pastor called us up on stage and asked us what we feel we were called to do,” he recalled. “I didn’t say anything but as soon as I heard that question, I heard that I would be a pastor.”
Fredrickson said he ignored the call for years.
“But multiple times I heard God audibly say, ‘You’re going to be a pastor,’ ” he said.
His long-term goal is to become a head pastor or a theology professor at a college or university.
“I’m naturally an introvert but I can get up and talk and lead in that department. That definitely shows that God is a part of this,” he said.
While Fredrickson has a deep passion for his work, he also has a love for tinkering on classic cars and actually had considered a career in concept automotive design.
Although the call to ministry took its place, he continues to get a little grease under his fingernails as he's currently is in the process of restoring an MG convertible.
“I just love taking the engine apart,” he says, adding that he recently parted ways with a 1969 Triumph Spitfire that he restored.
Fredrickson also has a knack for photography and did it semi-professionally on the side while living in Minneapolis.
“I’m not doing much of that right now because of my work, but I enjoy capturing the beauty of a moment (with the camera),” he said.
He also loves the outdoors, and rightly so, as he grew up in the rural setting of Fosston, Minn.
“I love putting in a day of hard work outside. I revel in that,” he said.
Fredrickson recently closed on the purchase of his first home in Brandon, and plans to share it one day with Madeline, his girlfriend of two years.
“We’re working toward marriage,” Fredrickson says.
He met her in college while the two were volunteering with a church youth group.
“She’s pretty, smart and very Godly,” he said. “How can you beat a combination like that?”
Fredrickson coins his move to Brandon and joining the staff at Faith United as an easy transition.
“It’s been a pleasure coming in,” he said. “There are a lot of people who desire to see the church grow, and at the heart of it, it’s about reaching people with the gospel. This church is filled with people who desire the Lord. They want to support me and have a vested interest in myself and the youth, because it really does take a church to raise these kids up.”