The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Future leaders: Jay R. Grave, 30

Now: pastor, Zion Lutheran Church, Fredericksburg, Texas.

Hometown: Sibley, Iowa.

Favorite Bible verse: Psalm 66:16, because it ties into the Great Commission.

Why ministry?: The pastor of my home congregation put it in my head, I think, as a youngster. And my maternal grandmother always told me she hoped I would grow up to be a “good Christian boy.” But it was really a summer of working at Okoboji Lutheran Bible Camp, Milford, Iowa, that solidified this sense of call. The summer before my senior year, I was a junior camp counselor when one of the counselors said to me: “You’re good at leading Bible study and games, but are you a Christian?” ... I realized I knew Jesus, but didn’t have a relationship with him.

What keeps me going through any rough patches: I love to preach. I love the academic aspect of it. And I get invited into people’s lives in a very intimate way. It’s an amazing blessing and a huge responsibility. I really feel this is the gift I’ve been given, and I can definitely be used in a parish.

Challenges I see facing me: Being the bridge-builder between the older church and the new potential church. Being able to define healthy amounts of time, work and play.


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February issue


Embracing diversity