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Billy Mckenzie

FAMILY MINISTER

Education

19982002

Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies

Cascade College

Work History

May 2007Present

Family/Children's Minister

Central Church Church of Christ

Throughout my soon to be 10th year at Central Church, my responsibilities have been multiple and frequently changing. Being Flexible and adaptable has been essential for my success as a Family/Children's minister. Below is a general breakdown of my current job description

  • 75% of my responsibilities involved development, teaching , recruiting, and administration of Infant, Pre School, Elementary and Junior high kids program ages (0-8th) grade on Sunday morning and Wednesday nights.
  • 20% Devoted to developing relationships and communicating with Families that currently attended services. I was also tasked with helping new families navigate, and ultimately joining our church community.
  • 5% Devoted to being a support for our Youth program (9th-12h grade). Supervising and advising youth minister(s) and lay ministers.
Aug 2012Present

Board Member

Lightwave Education

LightWave Education hosts a Reading, Learning and Leadership summer program called Freedom School.   Central Church provided space and Volunteers for 2012 Freedom School year.  I was asked to become a Board member during the 2012 school year.  

My position as a board member was unique as I acted as a liaison between Freedom School staff , Central Church staff, families and leadership.  I also organized and facilitated presentation for funding and partnerships to help grow Freedom School.

Feb 2013Feb-2015

Project Director-Freedom School

LightWave Education

Administrator over the entire Freedom School staff, budget, volunteers and 85 student Scholars. Answered directly to LightWave Education CEO LIsa Watson.


Responsibilities

  • Maintain regular communication with Children's Defense Fund's national staff
  • Recruit, hire, and manage local program staff.
  • Coordinate all logistics for summer program operation in partnership with sponsor Executive Director.
  • Supervise Site Coordinators and Servant Leader Interns day-to-day.
  • Coordinate arrangements for national and local staff training.
  • Meet weekly with the Site Coordinators and hold weekly meetings with all staff - Site Coordinators and Servant Leader Interns.
    Organize a local community advisory committee or other organized community body in support of the CDF Freedom Schools program
Jan 2005May2007

FRIEND-Professional Mentor

Friends of The Children

  • Helping a child find constructive outlets for stress and frustration
  • Advocating for a special education service at a child's middle school
  • Being the consistent adult in a child's life as they move from placement to placement in the foster care system
  • Communicating, Supporting and Advocating with and for parents of each child
  • Mentors are paired with same group of children from K-12 grade.

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Other Employment/Volunteerism

 (2015 - Present) Special Education Surrogate-West High School


Responsible for Educational Rights on a short or long term basis as needed. Children who have lost parents do to incarceration, death, addiction and /or abandonment. Responsible for determining if child would benefit from Special Education or General Education services.

(2003-2005) Independent Living Apartment Manager -Cascadia Behavioral Health


Provided on site management and support for developmentally disabled adults.

REFERENCES

  • Alan Taylor (2 children in my program)

      Preaching Minister- Central Church of Christ

      Bakersfield, CA

      253-363-1859

  • Lisa Elzy Watson

      CEO LightWave Education

      Bakerfield California

      661-444-3801

  • Angel Gabion (2 children in my program)

     Speacial Education Teacher-West High School

     Bakersfied, CA

     661-778-8506

  • Jason Turner

      Former Worship leader/ Youth Minister Central Church of Christ ( Jan 2009- June 2016)

      Bakersfield, CA

      661-345-6736

Philosophy Of Ministry

“Dear Child of God, I write these words because we all experience sadness, we all come at times to despair, and we all lose hope that the suffering in our lives and in the world will ever end. I want to share with you my faith and my understanding that this suffering can be transformed and redeemed. There is no such thing as a totally hopeless case. Our God is an expert at dealing with chaos, with brokenness, with all the worst that we can imagine. God created order out of disorder, cosmos out of chaos, and God can do so always, can do so now--in our personal lives and in our lives as nations, globally. ... Indeed, God is transforming the world now--through us--because God loves us.”
― Desmond Tutu


The above quote serves as both a encouragement and guide in my day to day ministry philosophy. It hangs on the wall in my office. It humbles me when i think I have everything figured out. It lifts me up when the frequent reality that I do not possess all the answers knocks me down.


The world is in desperate need of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Of this, I am deeply convinced. Jesus is Lord and the Bible, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, holds the deepest guidance and truth for our development as
Christians. God is active in our world and is offering a message of hope, healing, and new life; He has entrusted the church, the body of Christ and temple of his dwelling, with the task of acting as his ambassadors and spreading this light of God’s hope. Through investment in the Word of God, prayer, worship, fellowship, service,and a Spirit-led life, the church, and the individual Christians who make up the church, will find energy to carry out this mission. The Kingdom of God is among us and we, the disciples of Jesus, are called to declare, with words and deeds.


It is a critical time in the life of the church, particularly in America. Faith and churchgoing do not hold the same place of prominence they once did and, in fact, many of my peers have walked away from the church altogether. In many ways things seem sad, but I believe that we are in a moment of opportunity. The world, including my peers who’ve walked away, are hungry for hope. They sense that things are off, like a sliding door that’s slipped off its track. I believe that it is the very life and presence of Jesus and the Kingdom of God that the world is hungry for, for it is only in the life and person of God that we find our truest sense of belonging and purpose. The hunger for hope and something more is profound. I want to step into this situation, energized by the life and mission of Christ, to work with a community that lives out, in word and deed, the saving and healing presence of the Kingdom of God.


I left Central Church of Christ to attend Cascade college in 1998. The congregation then was 95% generational church goers. Upon my return to Central 11 years later it was 75% generational church goers. Most of those 75% was not made up of young families with children, or single adults. It was comprised of mostly of 55 year old adults and older. These members had been blessed by the church of there youth and had become stronger in faith because of it. There was a missing group. For some reason they had stopped coming to church. The reason seemed unclear to the leadership. I was hired at Central to help figure out why this was and how we could reach out to this missing generation(s). I have come to 2 major conclusions regarding this decline in interest among 20-40 year olds.


First, the church has either been unwilling, uninterested, or a combination of both to embrace changing world. Many of us who grew up hearing that God loves you know matter what, saw the church making exceptions to Christ's love. I was told by some that saw the church of their youth being guided by fear more than faith. The idea of getting to intimate with the "world" would put christians in danger of being pulled in. I was told that the traditional upbringing of their past gave them a strong foundation. They knew the word and it allowed them to reach out to the desperate, broken, and hurting in our communities with confidence.


Many young families realize that the church will not and maybe should not make changes for change sake. However they want to belong to a church community that is willing to engage in conversation on the church's role in this ever changing world.


Lastly Families who do not have church backgrounds often feel ill equipped to take on christian leadership. They often overwhelmed trying to encounter God in their lives let alone in the lives of their children. The church is a great place to equip, encourage, and deepen a family's ability to communicate and incorporate Christ into their daily lives.

I have observed that Van church has identified that they are not perfect. Van church appears to be willing and interested in asking tough questions and reaching out to the disillusioned. I feel that Van church and my personal journey have many points of overlap. I am thankful for the opportunity you all have giving me and I look forward future conversations.


Blessings
Billy