David Jewett, the new pastor at Life Church Bayside in Bellingham, can talk spirituality, acting, singing, business and finance, all with enthusiasm and authority.
At 29, the affable former Minnesotan is among the area's youngest pastors and is that rare religious leader who also holds a master's in business administration.
Jewett assumed his post in December at the Pentecostal church, a member of the Assembly of God. He and his wife of seven years, Heather, live in Birch Bay with daughters Hailey, 3, and Anne, 1.
Question: How did someone with your résumé become a religious leader at such a young age?
Answer: Growing up in Andover (a Minneapolis suburb), my passion in high school was theater and choir. I began as a theater major at North Central University (an Assembly of God school in Minneapolis) because I wanted to act.
Q: What changed your mind?
A: I remember having a dream when I was only 6 years old about joining the ministry. Halfway through college I began to feel that was really what God wanted me to do and I graduated with a bachelor's in children's ministry. In high school, I had been part of the worship team and youth leadership.
Q: Did you meet Heather in college?
A: I did, when I was a freshman and she was an orientation leader as a junior. I told my mom I was going to marry that girl! But she was the one who eventually asked me out the next school year. Basically, I was a total chicken about asking her out and that's why she cornered me.
Q: How did you wind up with an MBA?
A: I worked in children's ministry at home in Andover for a year, then I got an internship in children's ministry at a Foursquare Church in Anaheim for another year. Heather's parents had moved to Spokane. We lived there for five years while I worked in children's ministry and earned the MBA at Eastern Washington University.
Q: Were you a natural MBA type?
A: I was wisely counseled that an MBA would help me a great deal. I loved the program and discovered I naturally think like an MBA. I found I enjoyed accounting, leadership and management classes.
Most people don't understand how these skills are useful for a pastor. Being a pastor is not just about spirituality and visiting the sick. How are we going to be good stewards of what people entrust to us?
Q: Were you nervous preaching for the first time at Life Church?
A: Heather is from Salem (Ore.), but we had never been to Bellingham. The time came when we knew it was time to transfer from an associate pastor's position, so we visited Bellingham in September. I loved it. I was voted in after preaching on Nov. 11.
I wasn't nervous when I preached, but I sure was excited when the congregation approved me.
Q: Coming from children's ministry, are you comfortable ministering to seniors?
A: Everything feels good. The congregation has been excited about having a full-time pastor after being without a senior pastor for eight months. I've heard that if you're good with children, you'll be good with seniors, since they have special wisdom but, like children, most seniors aren't going to work.
LIFE CHURCH BAYSIDE
Address: 747 Marine Drive, Bellingham.
Michelle Nolan is a Bellingham freelance writer.