Associate Pastor and Children’s Ministry Pastor: Tom Tefft
With wife Karen
Five weeks after graduating from Cabrillo High School, I accepted Jesus Christ as Savior. I had been invited by a friend to “High Life”, a church youth outreach in Vandenberg Village. Within just a few weeks, I was serving as a volunteer in a leadership position at the church and at different youth camps. It was then I had decided to be a youth pastor, not because I had a heart for leading kids, but because a youth pastor had so much fun and was paid to do so. I had never considered the seriousness of the calling on a man to be a “pastor” until much later in life.
Hoping to raise money to attend a Christian college, I joined the service. But, by the time I had finished my commitment to the military, I wanted to do nothing else but come home and marry. June 15, 1985 I married Karen Marie Ferguson. Joel Kehlan arrived in our young married lives sixteen months after the “I do’s” and Alec James four years after him. I had given up the idea of being a youth pastor or even being involved with students at church. I had taken a job driving school buses and was taking night classes to earn an associates degree in liberal arts. It was while driving buses I discovered a love for junior higher’s.
October 1993 is when God, through Calvary Chapel’s radio ministry, turned my whole life around. I wasn’t serving my wife as the spiritual leader in the home, I wasn’t serving my children as their spiritual shepherd and I wasn’t serving God at all. God’s word broadcast via CSN changed all of that by transforming my heart. As I sought the Lord for where to serve in the Body, He led me right back to youth ministry. By 1996 I was teaching Sunday school to 6th grade boys and singing in the church choir, in 1998 7th and 8th graders were added to the class. And my wife Karen joined me as a leader and a teacher. It was also in 1998 both Karen and I volunteered to help with the junior high youth group. In 2000 I became an Awana leader and co director, something I thought I could never do. By 2001 Karen, again, joined me as a leader and co director. Not only were we witnessing God working in the lives of junior higher’s, we had the privilege of witnessing God equip and grow us up as spiritual leader’s. Through all God was purposing to do, Karen and I felt as though He was leading us to be more involved and to branch out into other aspects of youth ministry.
Enter The Village Chapel. After seeking and receiving a blessing from our sons, we looked into the new church plant at whether it was the real thing or not. After meeting the leadership and witnessing what God was all ready doing in the church before it‘s inaugural service, God confirmed to us His leading our family to The Chapel. Within just a few weeks after the first service, it was clear the youth at The Chapel were in need of leadership themselves.
In April 2007 at the age of 43 the leaders at The Village Chapel offered me the youth director position. It was a dream come. Through it all, there were two things the Lord continued to remind me of: First, be patient, the Lord’s timetable is not the same as our timetable. All things are according to His will and His plan regardless of how long He takes. And second, the call to be a shepherd has nothing to do with education or popular vote, it has everything to do with God, He determines and He equips. God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised–and the things that are not–to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him (I Cor 1:27-29). God Bless!
High School Pastor: Mike Aldridge