Hometown: Monroe, CT
I get to serve as the Director of Young Adults Ministry at Black Rock Church. In other words, I have a pastoral role specifically targeted for college students and young professionals (18-35 year olds). My primary job is to encourage young adult leaders, oversee college and young adult outreach strategies, organize retreat events, lend advice/counseling (primarily on dating or reconciliation), and preach and develop a preaching team for Black Rock’s Sunday evening service which is mainly geared towards millennials. More important than any of these things, I am a full-time husband to Hannah and dada to Líon.
Before I stepped into this role, I was hired out of college to serve as the Student Ministry Worship Leader & Young Adults Assistant Director at Black Rock Church. While I was at PBA, I served on the Next Gen Creative Team at Christ Fellowship Church and Chapel Intern at PBA under The G.O.A.T. – Bernie Cueto.
In my job as a young adults pastor specifically, it is easy to get caught up in the Instagram feed and assume that pastors spend their time locked in their offices or chilling with a beanie in a local coffee shop crafting catchy, memorable, main points for young adults to tweet during service. Message writing, although important, is the smallest part of my job. In any vocation, if you want to create a lasting, growing, impactful movement, you don’t have the luxury of being a Biblical hermit; an isolated pastor is an ineffective pastor. Jesus leads us with an excellent example of getting your hands dirty, extending grace, and leading people in love.
"I strongly advise tapping into the experiences of those that have gone before you..."
PBA provided me ample opportunities to succeed in my line of work. From working with students and staff in the Student Success Center, to working with campus clubs in Clubs & Organizations, to serving as a Chapel Intern, and leading a mission trip to Costa Rica, I learned how to quickly apply Biblical principles and practical ministry from my classes to everyday situations on and off campus and to serve people from the busboy to the billionaire. I also believe that living with 5 roommates, none of which were in the School of Ministry, created a natural habit within me to build relationships with people outside of church walls and/or people that think differently than me, look differently than me, or act differently than me.
Be a faithful steward with the people you have, the possessions you have, and the position you have right now. I believe it is always healthy to dream big and strive after goals that seem unachievable, but how is that effecting your daily routine? After the hype of having your first “real-world” job wears off, it is easy to fall back into wishing for the next thing while neglecting the assignment that has been given right in front of you. In other words, work, serve, love, and lead to the best of your potential BEFORE you receive your desired title, desired relationship status, or desired platform. A wise person once said, “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.” (Luke 16:10)
Oh wow, where to begin! I am a product of centuries of wisdom and hours of knee-bruising prayers from those that have gone before me! I still ask questions and receive wisdom from Pastor Bernie, my other professors in the School of Ministry, and Pastor Shaun Blakeney at Christ Fellowship. Since moving up North, I am deeply indebted to the wisdom and patience given to me by my church’s Senior Staff, but also the honest friendships built with those outside of my church. Blaze & Desi Robertson at Hillsong CT, Joe & Bec Smith at Mosaic, Luis & Yesenia Burgos at City Wide, Carl & Laura Lentz at Hillsong NYC, and Dexter Jr. & Lindsey Upshaw at New Vision have all played MASSIVE parts in actively shaping who I am today. All of these people have offered me wisdom and advice in various situations, been available to encourage Hannah and me at any time, and have shown us great examples of healthy marriages and healthy parenthood while leading a church body. There literally has not been one week that has gone by without my reaching out for advice or wisdom from any of these people and even more that are not mentioned in this list. I strongly advise tapping into the experiences of those that have gone before you as they tend to offer a stronger foundation to build on.
Spotlight posted in March 2018. For current updates from Rob, visit his Instagram page.