Interview Series: Kevin DeYoung (Part 1)

September 9, 2009

Together for the Gospel is excited to host 8 Breakout Session Speakers this year (you choose one) during the conference.  We’ve interviewed each of these guys and over the next few months, will roll out an interview with each of the breakout guys.

First up: Kevin DeYoung.

1) Where do you pastor?

I have the privilege of serving as Senior Pastor at University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Michigan, literally right across the street from Michigan State University.  We are a medium sized congregation, around 400 on Sunday morning.  A fourth of those are undergraduates or grad students.  The congregation is fairly diverse (ethnically, culturally, politically, theologically), which makes for an exciting and challenging environment.  I love my church dearly and am grateful to be their pastor.

2) How did you come to Christ?

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t know Christ.  My parents are both Christians and we went to church, well, religiously.  While in third grade I distinctly felt the Lord working in my life.  After talking with my parents, meeting with my pastor, reading through the Heidelberg Catechism, and going before the elders, I joined the church in the fourth grade.

3) Describe your call to ministry.

I thought about pastoral ministry from a young age.  My pastor told me one time that I would be his pulpit supply when I grew up.  I figured that meant I would stock the pulpit with tissues and pens before he preached.  As I grew up in the church I often did the short sermon for youth Sunday and liked doing the Bible lessons in Sunday school.  People were always telling me I should be a pastor.  In college I studied political science for my first two years and thought about going that route, but internally I was feeling a strong desire to preach and externally people in the church continued to urge me to go into mininstry.

4) Tell us about your family.

Trisha and I met at First Presbyterian Church in Ipswich, Massachussets.  She was a student at Gordon College and I was studing down the road at Gordon-Conwell (what a great idea to put a Christian college with too many girls right next to a seminary with too many guys).  We were married in January 2002.  We have four children, who bring unspeakable joy into our lives and also put the T in TULIP.  Ian was born in 2003, Jacob in 2005, Elizabeth in 2007, and Paul in 2009.

5) What are some of your favorite activities with your family or personal hobbies?

I like running (jogging is more accurate now).  I also enjoy getting out with our college students to play Ultimate Frisbee (though C.J. is adamant that Ultimate is a not a real sport).  I’m a pretty big sports nut.  Being born in Chicago, I’m a huge Sox, Bears, Bulls, and Blackhawks fan (in that order).  Obviously I follow the Spartans too.  As a family we like relay races in the backyard, going to the park, and trying to survive each day.

We’ll run part 2 in the next week or so.  Don’t forget to register for the conference!