MY STORY is where our Student Ministry partners have a chance to share their own journey in ministry, what they see happening, and general thoughts on student ministry as a whole.  If you would like to offer a guest post of your own, just email Jacob Eckeberger at and we’ll connect!

Growing up in Texas has always been an adventure.  I remember working on my granddad’s farm as a young boy cleaning out horse stalls to earn money.  Later in high school I got my first paying job sanding furniture all day for a refinishing shop.  I even worked for a feed and seed company in college sacking grain and cleaning out grain silos.

The adventure continued when God called me into ministry.  In my first church I served a dual role as Youth and Worship Pastor for a congregation of roughly seventy country folk making $120 dollars a week.  I still look back today on my secular and ministry roles and all of them have one thing in common; “A Chance!” 

My grandfather gave me a chance to learn to the value of a dollar.  The sand that ate up my brain cells gave me a chance to buy my first car.  Those hot grain silos gave me a chance to be independent and provide for my new bride.  The little country church gave me a chance to learn new skills, develop relationships, and prepare for a life long calling in ministry.

While each of these positions gave me a chance, none of them happened by chance.  God was always in control and still is today.  It wasn’t by chance that my wife and I got married but there was a chance she would say NO.  When we were young we took chances and never calculated the risks.   

To often young youth ministers come out of seminary looking for the large church, with the biggest salary and the grandest facilities unwilling to take a chance on a small congregation.  There was nothing fancy about any of those jobs I had but those people were willing to take a chance on me.  Where would I be today had that little church not taken a chance on a young guy that had never done youth ministry and had no training in leading worship?  Still cleaning out grain silos?   

Don’t pass up the chance to be blessed by those who love the Lord and want to invest in you.  Don’t miss the chance for God to impact your life through what might seem like a small job or church.  If you are waiting for that large church to call and give you that big paycheck, chances are you are going to be waiting a long time! 

My story might not relate to yours but there is a chance it does!


Jason Atchley is the Minister to Students at First Baptist Church in Round Rock, Texas.  He has served for nearly seventeen years in ministry in churches of all sizes across the state of Texas.  He is where he is today because of those who took a chance on him.  Connect with Jason on twitter at jasonatch or look him up on Linked in at Jason Atchley.