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Live with Jared

Over the past week, we have gotten to know Jared Dyck, a youth worker at YFC London responsible for running The Deck, an indoor skate park and community at the centre. In the weeks to come, we will continue to get to know various staff and volunteers over our social platforms. So if you’re not already, follow us on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter/Youtube — whichever virtual community you find yourself in! — at YFC London.

Jared is settling into his new normal in this time of social distancing, enjoying the time to reflect and challenged to figure out home workouts!

Since joining the team at YFC, Jared’s needed to rely on God in new ways. Over the past year and a half, Jared’s been on a journey of learning to not lean on his own strength and allowing God to use him despite what he considers to be his flaws. There are aspects of the job that are outside of his comfort zone, but he rests in the knowledge that God has called him to YFC and will equip him in every area. “Getting out of the way and allowing God to do His thing and not worrying about whether what I’m doing is enough… Whether I’m running a program for youth or I’m asking someone to support my ministry financially, I’ve found it challenging to get out of the headspace that I need to justify myself or I need to justify my job and my own abilities. I know that I don’t. And I know that I’m in ministry because God has put me here. But I think it’s human nature to feel the need to have everything figured out and to do everything for yourself so that you can show people that you’re “successful.””  

Working with youth has deepened Jared’s compassion towards teenagers and the environment they are growing up in. They have so much pressure to succeed both in school and in extra-curricular activities. They also need to know what they want to do with the rest of their lives at such a young age. “On top of that, they’re bombarded with an unprecedented amount of distractions every single day. Every social media platform, every streaming platform — every company — is doing everything they can to get their attention.” Often those distractions are winning their attention at the expense of things that have greater importance. Young people aren’t being equipped to balance all the areas of their lives.

Now that COVID-19 has changed the landscape, Jared has noticed that teens are struggling with their need for human connection, gathering in the same place and having community. Those social media platforms are no longer enough. He’s excited to see how things will change once we’re allowed to be together again, believing we will no longer take for granted being physically together.

Jared is also aware of the state of the world these young people will inherit, and he is passionate about equipping them with the tools they need to thrive as they transition into adulthood. Specifically in the skateboard scene, he would like to see more intentional mentoring. It’s generally an accepting community — older and younger skaters interact well with each other. There’s already a natural relationship of influence as new skaters are looking up to and learning from those more experienced. He’d love to see the older demographic taking ownership of the lives they’re living as something worth emulating beyond skateboarding and technique.

He’d love to see that go even one step further and see Christians boldly using the common interest of skateboarding to share the gospel. “I want the skate community in London — in Canada — to be a community that is experiencing how much God really does love them. A community that is thriving because God’s Spirit is there in that community.” Individual sports, like skateboarding, come with more pressure to appear a certain way as they are their own brand for sponsorships. It can be difficult to share the “more real” aspects of life. Jared prays for continued boldness to share the hope he’s found in Jesus. “It’s the most beneficial thing in my life. It’s what keeps me going through tough times, through good times. It would be foolish to not share that with others.”

The conversation moved to the topic of self-care. In ministry, there are no tangible end results. Jared compared it to his previous job framing, where you could go home at the end of the day knowing what you had accomplished. That’s not the case when your life work is relationship and conversation.

James shared that he works on building radio-controlled airplanes as a hobby outside of ministry to have those physical accomplishments, “something as simple as that lets your brain feel that satisfaction and the rest you leave with God.” Jared used hockey this past winter to track his progress in skill and ability. But he isn’t short on interests! Biking, playing guitar and making coffee are all hobbies he finds therapeutic.

To join the online community and participate in more skateboard content, look up @yfcthedeck. To watch the full interview, click the link below.

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Post Author: James Coolidge