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Cover 51


September 2013

Do You Have
Sticky Faith?


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Ryan Akers


Leadership comes in all forms and sizes, but the results are the same. Leaders influence behavior and make a difference in people’s lives. Profiling leaders reveals a diverse combination of traits, but changing lives is a common theme.


Leader Profile


Ryan Akers

What qualifies Ryan as a gifted leader? Could it be pinning to Pinterest with his wife, working as a youth pastor, his gift of sarcasm, or having a heart for missions? While all may apply, Ryan’s attitude to the Mac or PC question earned him major kudos with this writer.

Ryan grew up with a solid Christian foundation and parents who provided a biblical trajectory. His parents were very involved in youth ministry at Cookeville Free Will Baptist Church in Tennessee. During his junior year of high school, Ryan answered the call to youth ministry, and God eventually led him to Calvary Fellowship FWB Church in Missouri, where he works with students and families.

Ryan has been to Haiti multiple times, ministering with his dad on mission trips. God continues to build Ryan’s leadership and teaching abilities to help him connect to his students in tangible ways. He understands that successful youth ministry occurs when parents engage in their kids’ lives outside of church, and they grow spiritually as a family.

He understands the importance of investing in his marriage, which is why he often helps his wife Lindsey with craft projects she finds on Pinterest. When asked about the ideal date, Ryan said that they enjoy dressing up for dinner and catching a play or musical at the Fox Theater in downtown St. Louis.

The rudder of leadership consists of continuing to develop one’s biblical worldview and values. Ryan’s quiet time takes on different shapes as he digs deep into the Scripture at bedtime or reads a single verse in the morning that keeps him thinking all day. He uses his love for God’s Word to challenge his students to dive into Scripture as they seek wisdom for their decisions.

Ryan, you are a great leader!


Get to Know Ryan...

What do people misunderstand about you? My sense of humor and sarcastic affection. If I am picking on you then I like you, and if I am not picking on you, I might be mad with you.

How would others describe your leadership style? They would say I am a dreamer, a big-picture guy, who knows where we need to go but knows others will need to handle the details I overlook in getting us there.

What are you reading right now?

  • Connecting Church and Home by Tim Kimmel

  • African Friends and Money Matters by David Maranz (to help understand Haitian ministry)

  • Artificial Maturity and Generation iY by Tim Elmore

  • Sticky Faith by Kara Powell and Chap Clark

What are your top three books (other than the Bible)?

  • When Helping Hurts by Brian Fikkert

  • Crazy Love by Francis Chan

  • A Mind for God by James Emery White

  • The Hole in Our Gospel by Rich Stearns *honorable mention

One Indulgence? Cinnamon Rolls – I can buy an eight-pack with a tub of icing and destroy them in one sitting!

Why are you Free Will Baptist? Obviously, I was born and raised Free Will Baptist, but I am also proud of where we have come from and where we can go together. I’m thankful for the leadership of our denomination that is setting the course, standing on God’s Word, and chasing after the things He would have us do.

Paper or Plastic Questions

  • Mountains or Ocean? Ocean

  • Music or Talk Radio? Silence, the speakers in my truck are broken

  • Coke or Pepsi? Pepsi

  • Email or Texting? Email, but I text more than email

  • Mac or PC? Mac, there is no other way! If given a PC, I would abandon it for a stone tablet and chisel

  • Socks or house shoes? Neither, let my feet breathe!

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©2013 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists