Grindstaff joins BPBC as new youth leader

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 31, 2016


KANNAPOLIS – Chad Grindstaff has found his calling.

For many years, the 28-year old from Boiling Springs sought God’s guidance for service. Grindstaff worked in churches, in missions, and for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

Finally, he found it in Student/Youth Ministry. On Jan. 1, 2017, he will take the next step in that journey as he becomes the new Youth Leader at Blackwelder Park Baptist Church in Kannapolis.

“I’m most excited to have been given a part to play within the story of Blackwelder Park,” Grindstaff said this week. “Since August, I have been delving into the history of this church and its role within the community of Kannapolis. I’ve put faces to names, and stories to experiences; and – I’m honored to begin placing roots within God’s movement here.”

Grindstaff graduated from Gardner-Webb University in 2010 with a degree in Religious Studies with a concentration in Christian Missions. While at Gardner-Webb, he served as a Discipleship Coordinator. He also spent time as Children’s and Youth Director at Liberty Hill Baptist Church.

Following college, Grindstaff served as Director of Student Ministries at Lucia Baptist Church in Charlotte and, concurrently, as a member of the Board of Advisors and Director of Creative Ministry for Crosspoint of India.

Gridnstaff is currently on the Christian Response Team for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in Charlotte.

“We are so blessed that God has brought Chad and his wife, Leanna, to Blackwelder Park Baptist Church,” Pastor Phil Goble Jr. said this week. “Chad has the education, experience, and, most importantly, heart for students and youths that, we believe, God will use to explode our student and youth ministry.”

One of the desires sought by the BPBC Personnel Team was a pastor whose passion was youth and students – not someone who sought a youth position to use as a stepping stone to other jobs. Grindstaff fit that bill.

“My heart is completely sold out to this generation of students,” Grindstaff said. “I cannot think of a single greater purpose than to wake up each day and guide this generation towards a life enriched by the love of Jesus Christ. I look at the potential of today’s students and know God is shaping them to do incredible things for this world and for His Gospel.”

Grindstaff is developing a vision for the student ministry at Blackwelder Park, a vision that God has been developing in him for many years.

“Since my calling into ministry, God has repeatedly revealed four essential ‘wins’ that have been paramount to my journey in ministry: Building Community, Growing Disciples, Supporting Youth/Families and Transforming this World,” Grindstaff said. “Each time I walk through the doors of God’s church I weigh my success against those four ‘wins!’ Did I help facilitate a healthy and thriving community that reaches towards a more passionate relationship with Jesus Christ? Have I given the tools necessary to nurture and challenge a group of students to become disciples of God’s story? Am I providing a safe and supportive environment willing to not only care for students but to empower them to reach beyond their own comforts? And finally, am I allowing students to go beyond the walls of the church to reach a destructive culture with the transformative power of Jesus Christ? Those questions are how I level my accomplishments; they go beyond numbers and programming – they weigh the success of my ministry.”

Grindstaff will be leading the rebuilding of the Student/Youth Ministry at Blackwelder Park Baptist Church.

“We are excited that Chad, Leanna and our students will have a very unique opportunity to establish a new foundation, a new direction for this ministry that will touch lives for years to come,” Goble said. “Working together and with other youth leaders in Rowan and Cabarrus counties, I am excited to see how God uses this ministry to touch lives and change hearts for the cause of Christ.”

Goble and Grindstaff are working to get the students and youth more involved in the work of the church through projects, mission trips and more. But it all starts with relationships with the students, parents, church and community.

“Student Ministry is messy – literally and figuratively,” Grindstaff said. “And, as a Student Leader you have to be willing to run towards that mess. It seems counterintuitive – church should be clean, right? But, students are messy. Gloriously messy. And if you can’t jump head first into the mess, your relationships will never penetrate beyond a surface level. God has progressively equipped me with the ability to tackle relationships head first, clinging to grace and truth the entire way. It not always successful and it’s definitely not always pretty. But, it’s authentic. And this is where God has used me the most.”

Chad and his wife, Leanna, have been married for six years. They are the “parents” of Penny and Desmond – a 10-pound miniature Dachshund and a 175-pound Great Dane, respectively. For the time being, Grindstaff will continue to work with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association as the student/youth ministry at BPBC grows.

“We are excited to start a new year with Chad and Leanna joining this journey at Blackwelder Park,” Goble said. “We cannot wait to see what will do through them and the students that are here and that will come here with their families.”

For more information, call Blackwelder Park Baptist Church at (704) 932-4266. The church is at 2204 Summit Ave. in Kannapolis.

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