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Pastor James Owolabi
CHICAGO
Youth Pastor on the south-side of Chicago
Interests: Church Planting, Leadership Development, Customer Service, Leadership Articles, Indian food, Amazon.com. Podcasts BOOKS!! Preaching in Alaska every year! Lemon Pepper, Good Books!!! Good Bible Teaching, Great Music,Preaching, Chinese Buffet, Shepherds Conference, Learning from great Leaders, Hanging out with my Father Solomon Owolabi, The Bible, Learning, Starbucks Soy Chai Tea, Preaching to Middle School Students, Middle School Ministry, Indianapolis, Walking, Chicago, Leadership Development, Youth Ministry, Good Books, Podcasts, Planet Fitness, Traveling and Family.
Recent Activity
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Wow!!!! I am totally in tears and shock! God has been so kind and good to me. This has been one of the best months of my adult life. I feel so blessed to be alive and to do what the Lord created me to do, “Inspire the next generation” Three years ago when I finally obeyed God and moved to the Southside of Chicago, all I had was a passion to reach unchurched teenagers with the message of hope and freedom in Jesus Christ. My only goal was to see unchurched teenagers in the inner city of Chicago become followers of Christ. From then to now I have been given so many opportunities by great men of God and women and I have formed some awesome ministry partnerships ! I currently speak to over 200 teenagers each week in 7 different environments and serve Christ with two churches and two non profit organizations on both the south and north sides of Chicago. October 15th 2018 will mark three years since I moved to Chicago with only $200.00 in my checking account and no place to live! I didn't even know a soul in Chicago!!!It was hard! It was not... Continue reading
Posted Sep 26, 2018 at Evangelist and Educator
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Dear Young and Gifted Leader, I am so proud of you embracing humility and reflecting on your life! Let me challenge you to continue to embrace humilty! Humility forces you to face your flaws. We do not like to self reflect, especially when we have to face the hard truths about ourselves. Our instinct is to view ourselves through rose colored lenses, but great relationships with our mentors will force us to see things in its true color. This is because healthy relationships rid us of pride by giving us a sense of interdependence on God and good people in our life. I have begun to face my flaws through the prompting of mentors in my life. Hey! Embrace humility today! I love you and am proud of you. Respectfully Pastor James Owolabi Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2018 at Evangelist and Educator
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Small Group Questions for Summer Retreat General Sessions with Pastor James Owolabi Reconciliation (6 Sessions) Main verse is 2 Corinthians 5:11-21 NIV Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. 12 We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. 13 If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2018 at Evangelist and Educator
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Dear Young and Gifted Leader Read everyday! Start with your Bible. The world is a global village. Your ability to think globally and act locally will make you an outlier in your generation! Reading books opens your mind to new cultures. Reading will allow you to experience the world through the lens of various people that have completely different prespectives than your own. This will expose you to other cultures and ways of experiencing life. Read everyday! Start with the Bible. Having cultural awareness makes you an asset as a leader anywhere you go. I love you and believe in you. Respectfully Pastor James Owolabi Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2018 at Evangelist and Educator
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Dear Young and Gifted Leader, You are a gift to our country! Stop comparing yourself to to other women in your church family . You are a great mother and an awesome wife! Stop going to bed with your head down. Smile! You are a blessings to us! We are so glad to have you in our lives! Hey Strong Woman! You are such a blessing to us and you make us smile. If you allow comparison to paralyze you it will! Allow God to help you find people who help compliment your gifts. Don’t allow comparison to hold you back from setting goals and reaching them. A majority of comparisons are formed in our minds and take us captive from within. Rather ask God to send other women to help you achieve your goals. The game of comparing ourselves to others usually happens in our head and is very dangerous because it is not always something we express out loud. The negative conversations that we have with ourselves can cause us to turn down opportunities because we begin to count ourselves out. Don’t do that my dear sister. Your Heavenly Father loves you too much. Remember that comparisons are... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2018 at Evangelist and Educator
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I wanted to officially inform you all that I am stepping away from my responsibilities as a Youth pastor at New Beginnings Church on August 12, 2018. After spending two years with this organization, I have had the opportunity to learn so much about myself, inner city ministry, and strategies for reaching unchurched teenagers. When the Lord called me to move to Chicago I know that being a part of New Beginnings Church was definitely a part of His plan. It has become a home away from home and the kindness that I experienced there when I arrived is exactly what I needed for that season in my life That being stated, a lot of evolving has taken place within myself this year and I as I prayed for God to show me the next steps, He opened the doors for me to extend my ministry to the North Side of Chicago! After much prayer, I have accepted a position at North Side Gospel Center as their Associate Pastor of Evangelism and Outreach! I have also accepted a position to serve with the non profit organization, Slingshots, as their Assistant Director. Both of these opportunities will be under the leadership... Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2018 at Evangelist and Educator
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Dear Prayer Partners, Wow!! 2018 has been filled with major personal setbacks and unexpected showers of blessings from God. On this first day of August and as I reflect on the past few months I am excited for what God has in store! This past weekend I had one of the my most memorable opportunities of an itinerant bible teacher! The Lord opened the door for to speak to a Chinese-American youth ministry in Naperville, Illinois from July 26th-July 29th 2018. Based on my past cross cultural experiences in other ministry context, I was extremely honored but not initially super excited to serve at a Chinese American atmosphere…(pray for me). I never would have guessed how touched and welcomed I would feel at this summer retreat. The teenagers at Living Water Evangelical Church were not like the typical youth groups that I encounter. These middle school and high school students were refreshing to my spirit, because I could tell how hungry they were for the Word of God! Not once was there an interruption to my presentation. Their willingness to drink deep from God’s word and take notes was unmatched by even some adult audiences. The worship team...Wow!! I have... Continue reading
Posted Aug 1, 2018 at Evangelist and Educator
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Dear Prayer Partners, Over the past 15 years God has blessed me with opportunities to preach all over the country to over 10,000 teenagers in various camp settings. One camp that is a reoccurring blessing to me has been Dunes Bible Camp (DBC) in Washington. As some of you know I was recently at Dunes Bible Camp just last week! I regard this camp as God’s gift to the Northwest. Below are some of my reflections on why this camp is so dear to me. The People that Serve There, Steve and Linda Holmes are the two leaders of Dunes Bible Camp and it is a privilege to call them friends. I have been in various ministry settings and I always look at the work ethic and intentionality of those in charge. These two are an amazing duo and have modeled a healthy ministry and home life balance. I love to see the dynamic between them and their children. They are very intentional about involving their children in ministry and keeping home life strong as they simultaneously impact hundreds of other kids. Of course nobody is perfect, but they are practical. I once heard that success is when your older... Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2018 at Evangelist and Educator
God is so kind! God is so good to me!! Continue reading
Posted Jul 15, 2018 at Evangelist and Educator
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Dear Young and Gifted Leader, Apathy comes slowly and is very subtly, but its affects are deep. My concern is that apathy is slowing you down and draining you. That is why I challenge you to resist apathy and embrace self discipline. This can be easier said than done, a simple solution to help cure any apathy that could be lingering is reading. By incorporating reading as a daily habit you can fight against your fleshly desire to be apathetic and actually see positive change in your life. I love you and I believe in you. Respectfully Pastor James Owolabi Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2018 at Evangelist and Educator
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After returning back to my home in Nigeria I was immersed in a culture that was all to familiar and simultaneously foreign. 20 years is a long time to be gone from a place that used to be all I knew. I hope that the new knowledge I will be sharing impacts your life and enhances you as a person. One of the first things I noticed after returning to Nigeria was how westernized everything has become. The native people of Africa are now wearing more western styled clothing in place of the traditional African patterns, they are also speaking english regularly and have even adapted to using American figures of speech. Even though the electricity was inconsistent, the weather is different and of course the infrastructure of roads has still not come up to North American standards, the country was heavily laced with westernized values. Having spent more time as an adult in America than my upbringing in Africa, I’m so grateful to understand my native language and it felt amazing to communicate in my native tongue. It honestly disappointed me to see the increased pursuit of western culture was causing Nigerians to start to losing their roots. It... Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2018 at Evangelist and Educator
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“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.”‭‭1 John‬ ‭3:1‬ ‭ Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2018 at Evangelist and Educator
God is working in Chicago! It is an honor to partner with Youth for Christ and New Begginings Church of Chicago! Respectfully Pastor James Owolabi Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2018 at Evangelist and Educator
May 2018 Ministry Report Dear Family and Strategic Prayer Partners. The month of May brought many great blessings and revelations. It is making me look forward to what the next few months have in store. I am writing this email to update you and inform you about the newest changes that are going on. As you know in March 2017 I began my ministry partnership with Youth For Christ (YFC). I have thoroughly enjoyed the partnership and all the opportunities that this organization has given me. At the beginning of this year they honored my faithfulness and commitment to them by doubling my salary and giving me additional hours to spread the gospel on their behalf throughout the week! Even though we finished the year strong and I enjoy this ministry relationship it has been difficult financially. The salary they give me only makes up 40% of my overall need. Because of this I am now pursuing other ministry opportunities to supplement my income or fully support me. My desire is to stay in Chicago to continue my work with teens on the Southside and YFC, however I am applying to "ministry positions" in the greater Chicago area. Please pray... Continue reading
Posted Jul 4, 2018 at Evangelist and Educator
This class will meet every Sunday for the next 2 weeks. We won’t meet in June, 2018 “Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” Ephesians 6:18 (NLT) PRAYING THROUGHOUT DAY KEEPS THE DEVIL AWAY! “Now, when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before. Then these men went as a group and found Daniel praying and asking God for help. So they went to the king and spoke to him about his royal decree: “Did you not publish a decree that during the next thirty days anyone who prays to any god or human being except to you, Your Majesty, would be thrown into the lions’ den?” The king answered, “The decree stands—in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.” Then they said to the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, Your Majesty,... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2018 at Evangelist and Educator
In the Bible, God describes Himself as a Father. If you have never had an active father, nor a perfect father, in your life, then it is hard to understand God as a father... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2018 at Evangelist and Educator
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Twenty years ago, I moved to North America, and my God has been so good and faithful to me! In the past two decades, God has enabled me to be mentored, educated, and trained as a Christian leader, become a proud American citizen, and faithfully serve the Body of Christ in North America as an evangelist and Pastor to teenagers. Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2018 at Evangelist and Educator
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In my two decades of student ministry, one thing I’ve learned is that the hardest mistakes to correct are from words I had spoken without first thinking of the consequences. Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2018 at Evangelist and Educator
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Dear Prayer Partners, Wow! God is so good! Colorado! Florida! Illinois! Tennessee! Oregon! God has been so kind to allow me to serve churches and schools in these states during the past three months! It has been such a tremendous joy to see God working in the hearts of His people! In the past three months, I have been to 5 different venues in 5 different states, preaching to over people 1,000 people! It is amazing to see the people of God respond to the Word of God in such great ways. It is awesome to see teenagers across the country, especially on south side of Chicago, connect with Jesus Christ as their Lord and personal Savior! Thank you for all your prayers, comments on social media, and encouragement! You all are the big group that God has used to fan the flame of evangelism and discipleship in my heart and mind. These events allowed me to share with the people of God what God is doing through partnership with Youth for Christ in Chicago, and in my home church. Praise God! He has also provided 30% of my monthly support through Youth for Christ! Please pray that God will... Continue reading
Posted Mar 22, 2018 at Evangelist and Educator
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In February, 2017, I had informed the Young Knights leadership team of my desires to pursue other ministry opportunities that God has been calling me to. The leadership team requested that we pray more about this while continuing to serve Christ together. Well, after much prayer,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 21, 2018 at Evangelist and Educator
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If “WE” are NOT making sacrifices to reach the next generation with the message of the Gospel, then “WE” are simply “playing” Church. If we want to reach this next generation with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, then we must be willing to make hard sacrifices - whatever it takes to reach them. Continue reading
Posted Feb 21, 2018 at Evangelist and Educator
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Empathy is “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another”. Once you’ve secured empathy, that is the first step in the right direction to connecting with your students’ needs. Moving forward, I encourage you to make an effort to understand where kids are coming from when they are defiant... Continue reading
Posted Feb 20, 2018 at Evangelist and Educator
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January 19-22: Avon, CO at Vail Church with Pastor Jason Taber February 4: Chicago, IL at North Side Gospel Center with Pastor Bob Anderson February 25: Tampa, FL at Temple Heights Baptist Church with Pastor Clark Allen February 26-28 : Vail, Colorado at Vail Christian Academy with Pastor Jason March 3-5: Vonore, TN at Vonore Baptist Church with Pastor Jeremy Shaw March 18: Dallas, OR at Salt Creek Baptist Church with Pastor David Curtis March 25: Chicago, IL at North Side Gospel Center with Pastor Bob Anderson May 20: Chicago, IL at North Side Gospel Center with Pastor Bob Anderson May 28-June 1: Panama City, Florida with Pastor Jeremy Shaw June 10-24: Nigeria West Africa with Missionary Solomon Owolabi July 9-14: Ocean Park Washington with Dunes Bible Camp Edited by Andy Gehron (DefendingTheLord.com) Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2018 at Evangelist and Educator
"Megachurches often conduct leadership seminars around the world. Such seminars may make the naïve assumption that leadership is culture-free and that anyone from any cultures can teach it. They often claim they are teaching the “Biblical model” of leadership, not realizing that the way they read the Bible is already influenced by their cultural theories about leadership"- Leading Across Cultures" by James Plueddemann ." (p 27) Continue reading
Posted Jan 22, 2018 at Evangelist and Educator
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Dear Friends and Family, I am excited to let you in on something radical that God has been doing in me and through me in the past year. In 2017, I received two invitations to churches, inviting me to serve as a speaker. Both events were well attended and God moved in a mighty way. As 2017 was drawing to a close, I began to receive more invitations to speak outside of Chicago. Below is my current calendar for the first three months of 2018: January 19-22 in Avon, Colorado with Pastor Jason Taber February 4th in Chicago, Illinois at North Side Gospel Center with Pastor Bob Anderson February 25th in Tampa, Florida at Temple Heights Baptist Church with Pastor Clark Allen February 26-28 in Vail, Colorado at Vail Christian Academy with Pastor Jason March 3-5 in Vonore, Tennessee at Vonore Baptist Church with Pastor Jeremy Shaw. March 18th in Dallas, Oregon at Salt Creek Baptist Church with Pastor David Curtis. Over the past ten years, God has given me unique and amazing opportunities to serve churches, camps, and Christian organizations as a guest speaker. I have been blessed to serve the body of Christ in Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Florida,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2018 at Evangelist and Educator