Leadership at its finest
By: Karla Dechavez
It all started with a vision.
Before Younger Generation Church began, Pastor Mike Tucker wanted to provide a service for the young adults of Arlington Adventist Church. So he prayed for God to send him the right person who could carry out the vision of a young adult service.
Pastor Mike wanted to make sure this church was governed and led by young people. He created a group to take care of YG finances, missions, activities, and programming. “We’re going to create a board within a board, a church within a church," Pastor Mike shared with church leaders. "They’re going to have their own governance body, and you’re going to be the old dog on that board.” That governing body later became Lead Team.
Pastor Mike soon brought on Greg Batla. Batla was still in college at the time, finishing his last year at Southwest- ern Adventist University, “so he was around 20, 21,” says Tucker. Pastor Greg Batla came in full force to begin YG. Batla saw God as a creative God and believed in serving Him creatively in return. He let his imagination run wild and brought in not only a contemporary style of worship, but also lights, cameras, videos, and that ever-popular smoke machine.
When Pastor Mike transitioned to lead and host a different ministry known as Faith for Today, he brought in Pastor Ritchie Pruehs to join Pastor Greg in carrying out YG Church. Pastor Ritchie was a calm, cool, and collected pastor. He was very level-headed and approached everything with thought. “He was skilled. And I knew that his message would resonate with young adults,” says Tucker.
He and Pastor Greg worked together to create promo videos that went with every sermon series Pastor Ritchie preached on. YG's services gained greater meaning as we learned to coordinate our videos with music and ser- mons—all for one cohesive service.
As Pastor Ritchie transitioned to California, the search began to find our next pastor. And if you ever asked Mike his story, you would know that God hand-picked Pastor Allan Martin to come to Texas from the frozen fields of Michigan. “I knew Allan had a heart for this and he was wonderful at it,” says Pastor Mike. “Everything fell into place perfectly—and ten years later, here we are, with Pastor Allan still at the forefront.”
Pastor Allan is the most organized person you will ever meet—his leadership skills as a friend, a pastor, and a mentor have continued YG’s mission. And where would we be without Pastor Kevin Wells’ leadership, the current senior pastor of Arlington Adventist Church? Pastor Kevin has been behind every single one of these steps. He consistently supports YG Church by speaking, leading our greater church, and ensuring our ministry runs smoothly day in and day out.
God is good. Were it not for the many ways He has carried this ministry in the very capable hands of servants He specifically placed at our church, YG would not be where it is today. We have been loved, taught, mentored, defended, and ultimately are carving our paths together towards eternity alongside those who play a role in pa- storing our church.