People are very important to the success of any organization. That much is obvious. However, leadership is not about simply putting any person in charge; it’s about identifying the right person for the right job and then letting them run with their passion and skill. Jim Collins, in his legendary work Good to Great says, “Great vision without great people won’t come to fruition.”
At Mercy Hill, people are the mission. And to see the mission fulfilled, we know we need great people. That is why I could not be more excited about one of our newest staff additions. Back in July we welcomed Ronald Redmond to the Mercy Hill staff team. Ronald has stepped into our Mercy Hill Student Director position. I had the chance to sit down with Ronald and ask him a few questions about life and about student ministry.
Tell us a little bit about yourself…
I am a proud husband and proud poppa. My wife Anali and I are married with four kids. Our kids names go I, J, K, L (Ilana, Josiah, Karina, Lydia), and we don’t plan on making it to Z. I grew up in Greenville, NC and went to Chapel Hill for undergrad. Once I graduated from Chapel Hill, I moved to Greensboro.
What are some of your hobbies and passions?
I’m hugely passionate about music. I’ve been told several times that when I’m talking it sounds like I’m rapping. I do rap. When I was a schoolteacher I would take popular songs of the day and make them about math.
There’s a rumor that you’re pretty good at PS4…
I haven’t played since I took the position at Mercy Hill. I went cold turkey. But I would challenge any student to a game of NBA2k. Anyone who would want to challenge me . . . let’s do it.
What did you do before MH?
For the last seven years I taught in the public school. I taught five years of 6th grade math at Jackson Middle. I taught 2 years at Cornerstone Charter Academy.
How has your teaching experience prepared you for ministry?
Teaching has given me a passion for partnering with parents. At Jackson Middle there was no parental support; while at Cornerstone there was a lot. It showed me how powerful it was for a student’s success to have the parents involved. As a teacher, I couldn’t overcompensate for what a student lacked at home; so, it made it vital to partner with families to have the greatest impact on students.
Why do you love student ministry?
I avoided any involvement in student ministry prior to taking this role because I taught students Monday through Friday and then went home to my kids. Two years ago I went on a missions trip to the Dominican Republic, and I got to lead a Kids Week. While I was there I was teaching the Bible to students, and I absolutely loved it. Fast forward to the launch of our Clifton Road Campus. I started teaching at the Clifton Campus in the kids ministry, and it became a highlight of my week. This created a passion for students. Student ministry for me has bridged a lot of my passions—a passion for students, a passion for teaching, and a love for Jesus.
What are you hoping to see this year in MH Students?
I have a desire to partner with families. As a church and as a student ministry, we want to come alongside of parents, connect with them, and build meaningful relationships with them. I desire to see a parent partnership where Mercy Hill student ministry is providing opportunities to apply the gospel with students but also include parents to equip them on how to engage their student on issues of the day and how the gospel speaks to those.
I also desire to see more students connected. There’s a lot more students at Mercy Hill who are not currently connected to our student ministry. I have a desire to see more students plug-in because what we’re trying to do in student ministry here at Mercy Hill is help students to see how the gospel applies to their life right now.
One of my dreams is to see students come through our student ministry and plug directly into college ministry as growing disciples of Jesus. I’ve talked to our college director about this, and we want to train students as they come through our student ministry to understand what it means to leverage their college experience for the gospel. We want to see students who are shaped and molded by the gospel and understand how to live on mission as they transition into college.
Why should a student be a part of MH students?
We don’t see student ministry as a replacement for church. What we want to do is take what students are learning in the sermon each week and help them apply it to their context right now. “What does this mean for me as an athlete on my sports team,” or “What does this mean for whatever extracurricular activities?” We want to take the truths of what they’re learning and directly apply it to their lives and to live on mission.
We’re also going to have a ton of fun in the process. The student ministry team and I put a ton of effort into preparing a fun experience for our students. The most exciting life a student can live is a life lived for Jesus. We want our weekly gathering and all the events we do to reflect this reality.
If you’re a student and have not yet connected to MH Students, come join us for our Fall launch on Sunday night, August 27th. For more information about our student ministry please visit our MH Student page. And to contact Ronald you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org