noah-picture-1

Hi, I’m Noah Soistmann.

Elgin, IL

Experience

Harvest Bible Chapel
Student Pastor

Education

Liberty University
BS in Interdisciplinary Studies

Church Affiliation

Non-Denominational

Years In Ministry

3 years

Personality

ENFJ

Skills

Vision caster, team builder, leadership and administrative skills, strong oral and written communication ability, public speaking and teaching, strategic planning, problem solving, thrives under collaborative settings, great listener

Tools & Software

Fellowship One, Planning Center Online, ProPresenter, Text-In-Church

Personal

Wife: Jocelyn

Top 3 Strengths

Emotional Intelligence0%

Connectedness0%

Creative0%

Student Pastor Questionnaire Responses
Personal Info
Please share briefly how you became a Christian.
I was born in to a Christian home where Jesus was always worshiped and honored. When I was six years old my father was praying with me before bed and during his prayer he thanked God for saving us from our sins through Jesus. I was only six years old but I was so curious what sin was and why we had to be saved from it. I asked my dad these questions I had on my heart and he presented me the gospel message. I remember sitting on my bed and fully understanding what Jesus did and why I needed him. I responded to the Holy Spirit that night and asked Jesus to be the Lord of my life.
How would you describe yourself?
  • Fun
  • Motivational
  • Flexible
  • Inspirational
  • Loving
Personality Type
Enneagram – 4w3, Myers Briggs – ENFJ, DISC – S / I
Tell me about some people (i.e. authors, mentors, and ministry leaders) that have had a big impact on you.
Some key influencers in my life that are authors and ministry leaders are John Mark Comer, Donald Miller, John Piper, and C.S. Lewis. John Mark Comer and Donald Miller communicate truth in a way that seems so effortless. Both of these men inspired me to want to communicate and teach in a way that was personal, creative, profound, and impactful. Their works namely, Garden City (Comer), Scary Close, Prayer and the Art of Volkswagen Maintenance (Miller) inspired me and moved me in ways that had a lasting impact. Growing up, John Piper was a ministry hero of mine. As I have grown I don’t agree with Piper on every single theological point he subscribes to, but I am still inspired by his passion and love for Gods word. His Biblical literacy is incredible and his content has helped me for years in creating sermons and devotionals. Books like Desiring God and Don’t Waste Your Life are books that I would name as key influences in my life. Growing up, I read all the Chronicles of Narnia books with my father. My father would always explain and expand upon the Christian values Lewis was conveying. I took a class in college studying and analyzing the works of C.S. Lewis and his books expanded my understanding of Christianity. Books like Mere Christianity, The Problem of Pain, and the Abolition of Man tackle some major theological questions head on and offer some inspiring thoughts. I appreciate how Lewis approached all of christian though from an intellectual standpoint. Truly inspiring to skeptics and believers alike. I have been blessed to be mentored and coached by many leaders throughout college and my time at Harvest. My friend, mentor, and former boss, Landon has taught me dozens of lessons throughout our friendship but the lessons that I remember the most are the ones he taught me about perseverance and humility. Landon helped show me the blessings of how to persevere in the middle of seasons that were uncertain and how to forgive those who were acting unjustly. When him and his family were enduring a difficult season, I watched him continue to work extremely hard and lead others with a good attitude. He would often say that his work was for the Lord and he would always work like God was his boss. In regards to humility, I watched him a number of times preach an incredible message and almost counteract immediate complements with phrases like, “I love that scripture too” or “That passage really moved me too.” He lead by example on how to be a pastor who works hard and who always keep Christ at the center of they do.
Parents/Volunteers
How do you plan to engage and inform parents or guardians about your ministry objectives and progress?
Information is like gold to parents. I’ve learned that parents appreciate it so much when there is a clear plan in place and clear communication about that plan delivered to their inbox regularly. I believe that parents should be given the option to receive monthly and/or weekly updates from their student ministry department about the happenings of the ministry and plans for the future. There also should be natural relationships that form between the student pastor and parents. During my time at Harvest our student team would intentionally call every single parent to promote a conference or camp we were putting on and ask if their student wanted to come. We would also call parents of first time students or missing students. I discovered that intentional phone call speaks volumes.
Tell me about a time when you developed a new team of volunteers into a strong working group. What did you do?
When I first started working at Harvest, the volunteer team that I inherited needed work. There was no consistency, there was no clear vision placed before our leaders, and there was no clear care plan. I helped recruit and train more than 20 new leaders onto our team and create a clear vision for them. The leadership team currently more committed and excited about serving in student ministry. I feel as though I was able to recruit, place, develop, and care for our volunteers in a way that was effective and healthy. For recruiting leaders, I pray that God will bring to light people who would be helpful and who would benefit from serving in the ministry I oversee. I typically will have a conversation with potential leaders and simply open the need and see if they are interested in filling the need. I spend time listening to others, asking them who they know who would benefit from serving in our ministry. In placing leaders, I believe that God has gifted everyone with a unique set of gifts and talents. I typically ask the potential leader what makes them the most excited about the ministry they want to serve in and through these conversations we are typically able to discover a good fit for them. I think that caring and developing leaders go hand in hand. There are plenty of ways to specifically develop leaders, but overall if they don’t feel cared for they won’t be able to care and pour out to our students. Maintaining a personal relationship with my leaders is critical. I have found that most of the leaders I work with in student ministry need to be encouraged regularly, reminded of the impact and importance of their work, and they need to be constantly reminded of the vision of our ministry. I fear that many leaders get burnt out or tired of their position because either, they don’t feel cared about, they don’t feel they are needed, and they don’t know why they are still serving the way they are. I see my job in developing/caring leaders as fighting against those mentalities.
How would you alleviate the confusion when you are communicating with volunteers and it becomes apparent that they don’t understand what you’re saying or vice versa?
It is always best to be crystal clear well in advance in order to be considerate to the volunteers you are leading. Misinformation, lack of information, or lack of clarity can be so frustrating to people who are trying to do their part in serving in a ministry. A pastors role is to be clear in communication in order to lead well. Whenever information may not have been clearly communicated to volunteers I try to ask what specifically was unclear about something I presented. I typically close every meeting I lead with an opportunity for questions just in case there was some gap in understanding.
Spiritual Growth
Once you lead a student/child to Christ, how do you communicate their decision to their parents? Once a child accepts Christ as their Savior, how do you begin discipling them?
Whenever a student makes a decision for Jesus I immediately write their name down on my prayer list so I can be praying for them and thinking about them. I will contact their parents via a call or text the night of or the day after and express how excited I am for the decision they made. As far as next steps in discipleship, I always encourage the student to consider baptism as soon as possible. If I don’t have a strong personal relationship with the student I will connect with their small group leader and we will pray and talk about how we think the student can grow in their walk.
As the spiritual leader of the children’s ministry, how are you going to help volunteers grow in their faith?
First and foremost, there must be a good relationship in place between the student pastor and the volunteer leader. You cannot encourage and pour into a person spiritually unless you have a relationship with them. I always try to take a relational approach in my leadership. As a student pastor I was able to meet with a small group of our volunteer leaders and walk through a book of the Bible with them. I opened every meeting up with prayer and an encouraging word from scripture. I had a prayer request list from our leaders that I would pray through and check in on. I would show up in their lives when they needed help and care however I could. Leaders cannot pour out to students unless they are poured into themselves. In my next role I really want to focus in on spiritually growing our leaders on a regular basis.
Ministry Growth
What is your philosophy of ministry?
The team I worked with at Harvest was always pushing the boundaries of what we could accomplish in our ministry and creativity was always valued on the team. Its hard to pinpoint the thing I am most proud of. I helped plan, create, and execute moments in our student camps and conferences that I am extremely proud of. I helped dream up a service trip for our that had never existed before. I was able to lead in rebranding and recreating our student ministry space on my campus. Out of all the things I helped create for our ministry, I was always able to recruit some volunteers to help make that dream a reality
What was the most creative idea you introduced in your last ministry role? What steps did you take to implement that idea with leadership, volunteers, and families if applicable?
The student team that I was a part of valued teamwork and creativity so we were constantly encouraged to think of ways that could improve our ministry and better impact students. One of the ideas that I brought to the table was creating a service trip specifically geared to our junior high students at camp harvest. The goal of this service trip was to allow junior high students to actively pursue what it means to serve and to give them opportunities to do so. I’ve often noticed that many of my junior high students felt that they could only serve once they were older. I wanted them to understand that that was not true and that worshipping God through service is accessible at any age. I also helped bring to fruition the vision of revamping and designing our student center.. Every winter our church would host a youth conference and I helped to develop special elements for the conference.
How would you evaluate systems and structures to see if there could be improvement?
I personally love to evaluate and critique the ministry I oversee in order to see it grow and change for the better. I use and track data to evaluate the systems and structures that are in place in a ministry. For example, if you implement a new student assimilation system and you see a 15% increase over 6 months, theres positive growth and evidence that the system needs to stay. If you see incredible leader turnover year after year, chances are there needs to be a better system in place to make sure leaders are being cared for and encouraged over their span of volunteering. Data and numbers don’t lie and they can help shed light in on where our work as pastors can be focused in on.
Give an example of a successful outreach program or event that you put together.
I personally have only had the opportunity to partner with other ministries that are doing outreach in the community already. I think its a great idea for the church to partner with and support people who already have a fruitful outreach ministry. An essential part of growing as a Christ follower is sharing your faith with others. I don’t see discipleship focused vs outreach focused necessarily as a “one or the other”. Once we mature young followers in their walk with Christ and give them the tools for evangelism, our students will be the ones going into their sphere of influence and reaching their peers for Christ.
How would you deal with a teenager in trouble?
If a student has gotten them selves into trouble because they have acted our durring student ministry for being disrespectful, disobedient, disruptive, or something along those lines I will try to initiate a conversation with the student with their leader present. I often just ask questions and try to get more information about them and the situation. First and foremost, I want to make sure that the student is in a safe situation. Wether or not the student is acting inappropriately I want to always make sure their home life is safe and healthy. Often times I find students are willing to repent and they don’t like the reality of consequences. With discipline in student ministry specifically, I tend to lean on the gracious side. My job as a pastor is to be a presence of spiritual authority and often time that is a balance between truth and grace.
What goals have you set in the past for your ministry area. Did you accomplish them and if so, how did you accomplish them?
When I first camp to Harvest I set up a few goals. I wanted to recruit, train, and develop a brand new leadership team that would help mentor and lead our students. I wanted to grow in my teaching and communication. I wanted to tighten up our processes and procedures (specifically new and missing student procedures) in order to see growth. Overall, I wanted our ministry to grow in size and in depth of impact. I was able to accomplish setting up a new volunteer leadership team for our campus. With lots of prayer, help from others, and extensive searching God brought me the right people for the job. The ministry is in a much healthier spot today because of the commitment and excitement of our student volunteers. I believe that I have also been able to grow in my teaching and communication of Gods word. I would regularly record my sermons and send them to more experienced preaching pastors for review and critique. I began to see improvement in the delivery of the messages.
What do you do to stay current with the culture of young adults today?
As a 23 year old, I hope I still fall within the “young adults” category currently 🙂 In all seriousness, I think social media can be a strong tool to use in order to keep up with the new trends and interests in the world of the students we are seeking to reach. Knowing about trends, jokes, games, etc helps me relate to our students and become more approachable or trustworthy in some of their eyes.
What do you see as some of the biggest problems plaguing youth currently?
Students in middle and high school are often at a crossroads in their identity and in their faith. This is an extremely challenging place to be. They are still discovering who they are and who they are going to be and at the same time there are growing influences surrounding them at unprecedented rates. There are voices from the world and there are voices from the spirit and students are often wrestling with who to listen to. Often times these critical years are where people actually decide if their faith is their own and if they actually believe the things they have heard and if they are true. Youth are also constantly struggling with what is good and what is best. I believe our students today have a lot of different ideas for what something good is and they are exhausted with those choices. However, students need to be focused in on what is best, their relationship with God and their pursuit of becoming like Christ. With strong leadership, love, support, and biblical truth given by individuals who care, students will be able to focus on what is best.
Describe what a weekend student ministry experience would look like. What multimedia components would be used to create a learning experience that makes the Bible relevant?
I believe that a successful and healthy ministry needs to contain – weekly programing (worship, teaching, game, snack, hang, etc.) and small groups (discipleship, discussion, accountability) Student ministry is a ministry of the church it exists within so the mission and vision will share the mission and vision of the church. Hopefully – to make disciples of Jesus. Outreach events, special events, camps, conferences are tools that can be utilized in order to fuel the weekly student ministry. I personally love to dream up, plan, and execute these types of events as long as they exist to further the mission of the ministry. I believe that the church needs to embrace the reality of digital ministry as a thing that doesn’t only exist in the present, but as the reality of it in the future. A small 2 minuet clip of an encouraging word from the bible has the potential to bounce around social media and reach thousands of people. Many pastors only would dream of drawing thousands to come hear a message on a weekend service but with technology we have the opportunity to reach thousands of individuals who may have never stepped foot in a church.
Describe the diversity of some of the ministries with which you’ve worked. How did you go about learning and educating yourself in order to effectively reach your community?
At the campus I worked at we were blessed to have a diverse congregation racially, socioeconomically, and generationally speaking. I made sure we intentionally recruited and had leaders who were diverse on all these levels so our students could accurately see that the body of God is unified and even strengthened by our differences. I think I have educated myself the most through the relationships with congregants I have built relationships with. Hearing their stories, their perspectives, and their challengers has helped me learn about the community I lived in.
Is there a process that you go through when choosing a platform for screening volunteers, curriculum choices?
At Harvest we had an extensive volunteer training process. This included interviews, background checks, references, and a history of regular church attendance. This was to make sure that our students are safe and that the people who have volunteered for this role are doing so for honorable reasons. As far as curriculum, our team would work together to write and teach the content we delivered to our students together. We would take a “topi-getical” approach to our curriculum. Covering topics but making sure they were correctly expounded upon from the word of God.
What have you done in the past to ensure your church has a safe environment, including emergency procedures.
Safety comes first. I was trained by my leadership in how to respond to emergency situations and how to train our volunteers in the same way. I was taught on our churches specific procedures as well as basic first aid and CPR. Clarity is important especially in matters of safety so sporadically we would refresh our volunteers on our emergency policies and procedures.
How would you describe the ideal relationship between senior/lead pastor and student pastor?
I would say that the Senior pastor would ideally view the student pastor as an opportunity to recreate himself. Their should be a desire for the Senior pastor to mentor and train up the student pastor. The two should collaborate on events and plans for the ministry and for the church as a whole. I believe that the student pastor should also be able to speak into decisions that the Senior Pastor oversees. Ultimately, the student pastor should respect and adhere to the vision that God has given the Senior pastor.
Favorite Bible Story

The Story of Joseph

Favorite Scripture

Romans 8:28

Psalm 40