Hey family! On this episode of Church on the Block, Pastor Phil has a profound conversation with Reverend Russell St. Bernard affectionally known as Rev Russ. Their discussion delved deep into the heart of ministry, especially focusing on the transformative journey of youth ministry.
Rev Russ opened up about the moment he knew he was destined to work with young people. He recounted a life-changing experience at a youth retreat where he saved a child from drowning. It was then that he heard God’s message loud and clear: “go get my kids without the stuff.” This pivotal moment solidified his path in youth ministry.
The Power of Authenticity

Throughout their talk, Rev Russ emphasized the importance of being genuine. He shared his personal battles, including overcoming a stutter, and how these challenges molded his approach to ministry. He stressed that we don’t have to fit into a preconceived mold of what a minister should be. Pastor Phil was humbled when he mentioned him as an example of someone who stays true to their calling, and it was a reminder of how we can inspire each other to embrace our unique gifts.
Guiding the Youth

Rev Russ’s philosophy on youth ministry is about giving young people access to real-life experiences while setting boundaries. He spoke passionately about the need to present life’s challenges without glamorizing them, thus steering clear of negative influences. His work in mentoring young preachers and organizing impactful youth retreats has left an indelible mark on many lives.
Lessons from a Mother’s Hustle

Rev Russ also reflected on his upbringing, crediting his mother’s hard work and determination as a significant influence on his understanding of ministry. He shares anecdotes from his school days, taking pictures at events, and how his mother’s ethic shaped his perspective on structure and impact.
Youth Ministry: Evolving with the Times

The evolution of youth ministry requires relevance and the ability to empower the youth to achieve greater success. Rev Russ discussed his transition from full-time youth ministry to a broader role, underscoring the significance of creating opportunities for others to flourish in their ministries.
Legacy and Leadership

The joy of seeing his children involved in the ministries he established was a touching point for Rev Russ. He highlighted the importance of leaving a legacy and empowering the next generation to take on leadership roles. He believes in delegating responsibilities to foster personal growth and the development of others in ministry.
Staying True to Your Calling

Pastor Phil shared his thoughts on the challenges of ministry and the courage it takes to be true to oneself and one’s calling. He recounted a story about a brother who started a ministry for people with disabilities, illustrating the impact of staying true to one’s unique mission.
Filling the Gap with Resources

Rev Russ spoke about his books and devotionals, addressing the lack of resources for youth ministry and how his writing evolved to meet students’ needs. He introduced his new initiative, Ministry Pivot, designed to help individuals identify opportunities and pivot in their areas of life.
The Impact of Kingdom Fellowship

Rev Russ’s journey in ministry led him to become the director of ministry operations at Kingdom Fellowship. He stressed the importance of influencing not just the youth but also their parents, acknowledging the interconnectedness of ministry across generations. He proudly shared the growth and impact of Kingdom Fellowship, with many joining the church and committing to Jesus Christ.
Blooming Where You’re Planted

Pastor Phil highlighted how important it is to bloom where you’re planted and to stay true to the values of Christ. This perspective differs from those who see ministry as merely a stepping stone.
A Bond of Friendship and Ministry

As they wrapped up their discussion, Rev Russ shared his contact information, including his Instagram handle, as Pastor Phil expressed his gratitude for their friendship and shared ministry. Then they concluded with a reflection on the values of Christ and a call to live fervently for Him.
Church on the Block is more than just a show; it’s a platform for real, meaningful discussions that bridge hip hop culture and the church. It’s about empowering others to thrive in their callings, facing the challenges of ministry, and the continuous evolution and growth in leadership. Thank you for joining us on this journey, and we hope these insights inspire you to embrace your unique path in ministry.
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The introduction (00:00:02) Introduction to the show, discussing the purpose and scope of the topics to be covered.
Ministry Journey (00:03:02) Background, experiences, and journey into youth ministry.
Youth Ministry Conviction (00:13:03) A pivotal moment at a youth retreat, leading to a conviction for youth ministry.
Authenticity in Ministry (00:20:07) The importance of authenticity and permission in ministry, with a focus on being true to oneself and one’s calling.
The hustle (00:21:52) Rev Russ shares how his mom’s work ethic and hustle influenced him and his perspective on structure and success.
Evolution of youth ministry (00:22:41) Discussion on the need for evolution in youth ministry, focusing on moving forward and creating opportunities for growth.
Leadership development (00:23:32) Sharing the experience in developing leadership teams and creating opportunities for growth in ministry.
Setting up a legacy (00:24:29) Emphasizing the importance of setting up a legacy in ministry and the joy of involving family in ministry activities.
Empowering leaders (00:25:11) Discussion on the importance of empowering leaders and allowing them to develop their own style and approach in ministry.
Dreaming and planning (00:26:29) Encouraging individuals in ministry to dream and plan for their roles, emphasizing the importance of vision and strategic thinking.
Pivoting in ministry (00:27:20) The experience of pivoting from one church to another and the importance of adapting to new opportunities in ministry.
Empowering others (00:28:12) Speaker 2 discusses the concept of giving away responsibilities to empower others and create space for personal growth.
Working oneself out of a job (00:29:48) Emphasizing the importance of working oneself out of a job in ministry to allow for personal growth and the development of others.
Adapting to change (00:31:53) Discussion on the need for adapting to change and embracing new opportunities in ministry, emphasizing the importance of courage and boldness.
Writing and ministry resources (00:36:12) Rev Russ shares his experience of writing books and devotionals to fill the gap in youth ministry resources and empower others in their ministry work.
Ministry pivot (00:39:39) Rev Russ introduces “Ministry Pivot,” a platform aimed at helping individuals identify and embrace opportunities for growth and change in ministry.
Transition to broader ministry (00:42:04) Rev Russ discusses his transition from youth ministry to a broader role in the church, emphasizing the need to adapt and embrace new challenges.
Youth Ministry and Adult Ministry (00:42:58) Rev Russ discusses his transition from youth ministry to adult ministry and the impact of serving the adult population.
Ministry Operations and Growth (00:44:00) Rev Russ describes his role as director of ministry operations and the growth of the church, including membership and baptism numbers.
Leadership and Mentoring (00:46:45) Rev Russ talks about pouring into and refreshing other leaders, emphasizing the importance of mentorship and serving with friends.
Ministry as a Calling (00:47:20) Rev Russ discusses the importance of organic ministry and blooming where one is planted, rather than using ministry as a stepping stone.
Contact Information (00:48:16) Rev Russ shares his contact information, including his website and Instagram handle, for reaching out.
Closing Remarks and Values (00:49:08) Expressing appreciation for each other and discuss the importance of values and community in ministry.
Inspirational Story (00:49:28) Pastor Phil shares an inspirational story about a marathon and emphasizes the importance of living out values for the benefit of others.

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