Pastors Kurt and Robin Fuller say having a pastoral staff that is mostly under 30 – and nearly all alumni of Life Pacific University – provides significant value to the congregation they lead.
All but two of the licensed ministers on Kurt and Robin Fuller’s staff at the Warehouse Foursquare Church in Whittier, Calif. are graduates of Life Pacific University. Most of them are also under 30.
“The Warehouse Church has been an excellent home to serve in, where I have found my identity as a pastor and have been empowered as an equal partner in ministry,” says LPU alum and worship arts pastor Sean Minutella.
“The Lord was pretty clear to us that if we weren’t willing to develop young leaders, He wouldn’t bring them to us,” Kurt says. They simply need a place to practice ministry in the safety of a local church.
Just ask Children’s Pastor Ryan Harris. “Having a place where we are given the chance to succeed and fail has encouraged me to grow quickly as a pastor,” Ryan says. “Because Pastor Kurt believes in us as young ministers, we have the confidence to be bold in our ministries instead of playing it safe."
Kurt and Robin believe it’s important to identify leaders who will be ready to receive the baton when it’s time for a handoff at the Warehouse and in the 32 churches in southern California where he has served until this year as an area pastor for The Foursquare Church. “I looked around and realized we had some pastors that were ready for the next step – some for retirement and others for a different position,” Kurt says.
The problem he faced was a lack of willing, equipped leaders to take their place. “God was stirring me to identify young leaders who would be ready to assume the responsibility of leading when it was time for a change,” he adds. “Robin and I are graduates of Life Pacific, and so is our executive pastor. We know firsthand the quality education students get at LPU and we know these leaders carry our DNA for ministry leadership.”
Kurt and Robin utilize student interns in church ministries throughout the year and youth and family camps during the summer. “They do more in our church than unload the pastor’s car or run errands,” they say. “We give them an equal place at the table to provide input and make decisions.”
Kris Guerrero says it’s an honor “to be part of a team that treats each other as equals, works together in our mission and is so clearly lead by the guidance of the Holy Spirit. At The Warehouse, I am encouraged to continue in the development of my skills and knowledge while applying things I already learned while a student at Life Pacific.”
Kurt and Robin’s approach to releasing young leaders is not every pastor’s cup of tea and they know it. Still, hiring young leaders right out of Life Pacific University is their way of elevating the next generation of Foursquare leaders. They believe LPU grads offer insightful opinions and boundless energy as creatives to bring the world to Christ.
For Kurt and Robin, it’s a kingdom mindset. When they asked their team to articulate why they stayed at the Warehouse after graduation from LPU, the young leaders offered 15 specific values ranging from authenticity and Christ-centered focus to the value of personal relationships and community.
Young leaders are highly relational and enjoy spending time with Kurt and Robin in their home. Sometimes, Kurt says he plays with the little kids – who call him “Grandpa” – while the young parents on his staff sit in his living room and watch TV together.
Kara and Tim Abe, staff members at the Warehouse, both graduated from Life Pacific and are parents of one daughter with their second child on the way. Kurt says they hope that the multigenerational character of their congregation will also help them be better parents to their children.
“We can’t offer young leaders a biblical education like they can get at Life Pacific University,” Kurt says. “But we can partner with LPU to provide leaders with an opportunity after graduation to apply what they have learned in a real world setting. We can help them fly, and that’s what matters most to us.”
The mission of LPU is to develop students into leaders who are prepared to serve God in the Church, the workplace, and the world. The B.A. in Transformational Ministry is a 4-year, on-campus program designed for those wanting a well-rounded education to equip them to dive right into vocational ministry upon graduation. The B.A. in Ministry & Leadership is an online degree program for leaders and practioners seeking a flexible program they can complete entirely online. Click here to request more info about a degree that interests you.