Pastor Chris Kim
Catalyst Youth Pastor
Chris had never aspired to be a pastor. He appreciated his pastors while growing up in youth group, yet he was especially influenced by the lay leaders who were giving up their time and energy without getting paid for it. “I thought pastors had to be ‘good Christians’ because that’s their job,” Chris said. “So my pushback for ministry was: I could have a bigger impact as a ‘regular guy’ showing that Christ is worth living for.”
Today, Chris is that “regular guy” — only with a job title of youth pastor at ICC, where he followed God’s lead in spite of past reluctance. Chris encourages other adults to get involved with the youth. Given his own experience, he’s not surprised by recent findings that people who stay in the church beyond high school are more likely to have had an adult mentor in church. “The youth see in them—that faith is real and church is not a show,” Chris said. “And a pastor isn’t on a pedestal but is a disciple just as much as a discipler.”
Prior to joining ICC, Chris worked at another church for six years in which he first helped relaunch a short-term missions program for the youth and then moved on to serving as youth director. He currently works also as head server at a restaurant, where he’s glad to be around others who are not Christians. “I get to show the love of Christ in the way I work and the way I care for them,” he said.
Chris is married to Connie, whom he met in youth group and began dating just before leaving for college at Duke. They have two kids, Grayson and Avery.
Even while juggling work and family—and chipping away at studies toward an MDiv at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School—Chris wants to get to know the youth group students. “Relationships built outside of worship services and Bible studies, whether through meals or coffee or gaming or chatting or karaoke, are what allow the sermons preached and the discussions had to affect the students,” he said.
Chris also takes time to connect with others through his hobbies of volleyball and photography.