The big guy upstairs called him to Sequim.
Sequim’s newest youth pastor, Shane McCrossen, came to Sequim Bible Church six months ago looking for ways to encourage and entertain middle and high school students in the area. He said it is no coincidence that a series of events in his life led him to where he is today.
“There are a few options now for after-school activities for
Sequim teens, and I’m really excited to be a part of it all, helping our future leaders,” McCrossen said. “I’ve been here six months now and things are really beginning to line up, which has been the trend since I was directed to take this path.”
McCrossen was born and raised in Southern California. He planned a future in kinesiology, the study of muscle movement, but after finishing his studies he felt he needed to take a different path.
“I still find personal training very interesting, but I knew I was meant for something different,” he said. “I had a steady job with benefits, my lovely wife and our first child, but something wasn’t working and my pastor down there could tell.”
McCrossen’s pastor asked him the “If you won the lottery” question.
“Immediately I knew what I wanted — I get more joy out of sharing with others what Christ has done for me more than anything else I could ever do,” he said. “But I was unsure about pursuing this dream with a young family when I already had steady employment.”
With the blessing of his wife, Cherie, McCrossen pulled up stakes and moved to Waukesha, Wis., to attend the New Tribes Bible Institute.
“Everything kept lining up, like I said before, I was supposed to take these steps no matter how difficult they were at first,” he said.
Even when the family was financially challenged, random and charitable events kept the pastor-to-be in school and food on the table.
“I’ve been frequenting Sequim for years because my wife’s parents live here and I have always attended and admired the Sequim Bible Church,” he said. “So when in school, I would remind myself that one day I’d be able to work in a place like this, little knowing that this is the precise place where I would end up.”
Now McCrossen, 39, his wife and two young boys are in Sequim, and he is the new youth pastor at the church of his choice.
“It’s all been a blessing, and I hope sharing stories like mine and those found in the Bible can help these teens find themselves and find courage to face life in troubled times,” he said. “Plus, I want to have a lot of fun and show them the joys of life as well.”
McCrossen has a steady contingent of more than a dozen teens in his group and expects to have more walking through the doors once the church’s youth room is completely renovated.
“I’m especially excited about what space the church gave me to work with,” he said. “We will have state-of-the-art electronics for videos and making music; these kids know when they are working with what’s modern and cool, and I want to provide that.”
McCrossen also is a Microsoft certified systems engineer and he plans on helping the teens any way he can. For example, he hopes to encourage them to learn music and possibly begin to play together as a band.
“Just last week we took the whole group to The Buzz and sat in during the open mic session,” he said. “Then a couple weeks before that, we rented out the roller rink in Port Angeles for a two-hour hockey night; I want to keep activities fresh.”
McCrossen has been volunteering at the Boys & Girls Club in Sequim and at the Way, Truth, Life teen center across from the city hall on West Cedar Street to get a feel for Sequim’s youths other than those who have joined his group.
“It’s great to see so much being done for these youths,” he said. “My impression of Sequim has been that these young people needed more outlets than what was provided a few years ago, and I’m really excited to see it begin to happen.”
To learn more about the Sequim Bible Church youth group and its new pastor, visit www.sbce3.com or call 683-4135.
Pastor Shane McCrossen’s youth group for middle and high school students meets twice a week, at 6 p.m. on Sundays and at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, at Sequim Bible Church, 847 N. Sequim Ave.