Jeremy serves as national director of Awana Youth Ministries™. Awana YM serves over 3,000 churches and more than 60,000 students, providing churches with Bible-based curriculum and resources for leader training.
At age 4, Jeremy attended a Vacation Bible School a neighbor taught in her basement. It changed his life. “It’s a very vivid memory,” Jeremy says. “I put my trust in Christ and felt an overwhelming sense of joy. It’s made me realize that we need to present the gospel to kids at every opportunity. I was ready at 4.”
When he was 15, Jeremy attended a church camp. He prayed and asked God what he should do with his life. “God told me youth ministry was my calling,” Jeremy says. “I went back to my youth pastor after camp and asked him to teach me everything he knew.”
Investing in the next generation
Jeremy provides leadership and vision for every aspect of youth ministry at Awana. His responsibilities range from training ministry team members and developing curriculum and volunteer resources to overseeing the annual Awana high-school event, Summit. He is responsible for both Trek®, the program for middle school students, and Journey™, the program for high school students.
“I expect God to use the youth ministry of Awana to reach more students than it ever has before,” Jeremy says. “We need to equip students to change the world they live in.”
A passion to train and mentor youth leaders
Jeremy is dedicated to helping students get excited about a personal walk with God. He is also committed to equipping youth workers to impact this generation. He enthusiastically shares ideas, provides guidance and offers encouragement to those on the front lines of youth ministry nationwide.
“Jeremy has had a great passion for youth ministry for many years,” says Brad Iverson, Awana lead missionary to Texas and a former senior pastor. “Couple that passion with his love for the Lord and dedication to the Scriptures, and he brings an incredible dynamic to Awana. His grasp of the youth culture, his vision, experience and ability to communicate bring excitement to this vital ministry.”
Jeremy serves as a speaker and workshop teacher at churches and conferences around the U.S. He covers a variety of topics, primarily:
• How technology and social media impact youth and adults
• The power of storytelling, including basic story concepts, narrative structure and story presentation skills
• Understanding the cultural trends and shifts of today's teenagers
A commitment to reach teens with God’s truth
With a desire to pursue full-time youth ministry, Jeremy attended college and majored in pastoral studies with a minor in youth ministry. After graduation, Jeremy worked as a youth pastor and married his wife, Marj. He later started a nonprofit organization called Creative Ministry Group.
“I served small churches in the Chicago suburbs,” Jeremy explains. “I taught middle school and high school students and also college students three times a week for three different churches. I also wrote curriculum and trained leaders.”
After a few years of ministry to these churches, Jeremy successfully transitioned them to their own ministry staff members. He then accepted a position as the high school pastor at Alpine Chapel in Lake Zurich, Illinois.
How to contact Jeremy Pettitt
To schedule an interview, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.