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Pastor James Owolabi
CHICAGO
Evangelist, Educator and Entrepreneur
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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Dear Prayer Partners, Many of you my dear friends and faithful stragetic partners have challenged me over the past two decades to fully embrace and celebrate the unique way that God has shaped and wired me as an itinerant bible teacher. In many conversations over a dozen of you have instructed me to be stragetic, patient, prudence, proactive and wise in stewarding the gift of public speaking that God has given me. The last 2 months have been a huge whirlwind of experiences and events that taught me to focus on my calling and my gifting as a missionary/traveling preacher and educator of teenagers. By reflecting on these and diverse speaking opportunities this year I can clearly see how God has used you to speak to me about my life. Friends! I have to be honest! In the past I have frequently allowed storms of doubt and fear to distract from that using this gift. Recently, God has impressed on my mind that I need to use my gift globally by pursuing opportunities to use my talents with wisdom and courage! A major part of using my gift of speaking is to be a global evangelist and educator. At the... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2019 at Global Evangelist & Educator
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2019 Speaking Itinerary for Pastor James Owolabi #traveling preacher March 24, 2019. Niles, IL with Pastor John Kim @ Joshua Generation Spring Revival April 2, 2019: Waukegan, IL with Miss Amanda Modloff @ Waukegan High School. May 18, 2019: Seminar at Chicago, IL with Monster Education Foundation May 19, 2019: “The Forum” at Northbrook, IL with Pastor William Pak, @ Lakeview Church. May 25-27th 2019: Great Oaks Camp in Lacon, IL with Pastor Jeff Aberia @ Adonai Presbyterian Church June 2, 2019: Port Alsworth, Alaska with Glen Alsworth @ Lake Clark Bible Church. June 3rd-11th 2019: Port Alsworth, Alaska with Mark McGee @ Talania Bible Camp. June 16th 2019: Belfair, Washington with Pastor Jim Porter @ North Mason Bible Church. June 23rd 2019: Chicago, Illinois with Pastor Bob Anderson @ North Side Gospel Center. June 28th 2019: Northbrook, IL with Jennifer Chang, @ Lakeview Church. June 30th 2019: Chicago, Illinois with Pastor Bob Anderson @ North Side Gospel Center. July 1-6, 2019: Pensacola, FL with Pastor Jeremy Shaw @ Vertical Student Ministry July 7th 2019: Des, Plaines, Illinois with Pastor Scott Ziegler @ The Bridge Community Church. July 14th 2019: Chicago, Illinois with Pastor Bob Anderson @ North Side Gospel... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2019 at Global Evangelist & Educator
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In this world it is important and crucial to decipher between the voice of God and the voices of “arrogant” mortal men filled with fear and “ mad” women with great intentions. It is so important that we listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit in the word of God and obey God instead of waiting for others to validate all of our actions. They told me I should never work at a Korean church. They told me I was not black enough to work on the Southside of Chicago, they told me I was not equipped as a single man to preach to white married middle class people in the suburbs, they told me I was only at a Korean church to marry a submissive asian woman. God!... told me that I was called to love people and teach them the word of God. They told me I was too old to mentor middle school boys. They told me it was crazy to recruit white males to mentor black middle schoolers. They told me it was crazy to use secular music on Friday nights to reach teens with the Gospel. God!... told me that I was called to... Continue reading
Posted Mar 22, 2019 at Global Evangelist & Educator
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It is very exciting to be a part of a needed effort towards teaching Biblical principles and challenging teenagers on the southside of Chicago to live a life for Christ through the ministry of Youth for Christ. Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2019 at Global Evangelist & Educator
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Friend: Why do you live on the southside of Chicago, and when are you moving from Englewood? Me: Look into the eyes of these students and their body languages during a club meeting with youth for Christ, and tell me that I am crazy for living on the southside of Chicago. Look at the responses of these students after the preaching of God’s Word, and let me know if God doesn’t grab your heart for these students. I love living and working on the southside of Chicago because teenagers there are full of life, promise, and vision. Do you know that less than 10% of seminary graduates serve teenagers in the inner cities of America? God has gifted me, and given me the opportunity to attend seminary so I may teach teenagers deep Truth from the Word of God. This is why I love teaching teenagers on the southside of Chicago the Word of God. Their desire to learn is so deep; their passion for truth is so remarkable! It is an honor to serve churches and schools on the southside of Chicago. Continue reading
Posted Mar 2, 2019 at Global Evangelist & Educator
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Dear Young and Gifted Leader, Reflect on your past mistakes. Bad experiences and difficult people are designed by God to teach us great lessons about life. Seeing any setbacks in the correct perspective and allowing them to be teachable moments can be a powerful tool. Never waste any crisis in life by not learning from you past mistakes. Learn from your mistakes. You will be surprised the skills you could develop every six months when you learn from your mistakes. Be honest about your past mistakes, humble yourself before God and learn how to learn from your mistakes. As you allow your experiences coach you for success, you will develop emotional endurance and overtime you will eliminate self sabotage in your life. I love you! I am praying for you. Respectfully PJ Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2019 at Global Evangelist & Educator
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Dear Young and Gifted Leader, Please!Stop talking! - A Greek philosopher once pointed out that we have two ears, but only one mouth. The perfect human design that God created reflected the idea that listening is more important than speaking. Of course conversation and good communication are both essential, but those things can not happen if you never stop talking. To truly listen is not simply to hear a person's words, it is to genuinely give attention to the knowledge they are speaking so that you can apply it. If you want success one of the best things you can do is learn how to ask great questions to wise people in your life. This takes self control, but it pays off to develop this discipline. DO NOT CRITICIZE WHAT YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND. Just keep working to gain clarity in your daily dialogue. If you listen, learn, and love each day you will prosper in multiple ways. I love you and I am praying for you. Respectfully Pastor James Owolabi Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2019 at Global Evangelist & Educator
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“If I were the devil...I would get control of the media, so that every night I could, I would, persuade people that the Church is irrelevant and out of date, and the Bible is for the naive; I would dull the minds of Christians, make them believe that prayer is not important, and that faithfulness and obedience are optional.” --Paul Harvey Imagine a world without the Word of God. Imagine a family where the Bible is never read. Imagine a school where the Bible is not taught. This is our America! We can change this! We must change this by reading the Bible everyday so that people can see the effects in our lifestyle. Reading the Bible everyday will change your life. Last Sunday at Northside Gospel Center was a blessing to my soul because it reminded me of the power of the Word of God in the life of the church. It also reminded me that teenagers are important to God, and that it is a sin to teach them the Bible in a boring way. It was a blessing to see that God is always speaking through His servants, but it makes me sad how often I miss... Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2019 at Global Evangelist & Educator
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Life is hard but God is good! God is good! I am blessed! God is working in Chicago and it is a joy to be a part of his work! Nothing warms my heart like depositing truth in the mind of students. Nothing! Absolutely nothing gets me fired up like baptizing a teenager. Nothing wakes me up like mentoring teenagers in a classroom. Nothing makes my day like seeing a teenager become a follower of Jesus Christ. 2019 has started as a great year! 5 students baptized! 100 students in clubs and youth outreach programs! Yes! It has been a good year already! Thank you Lord!#slingshots#yfcusa#nsgc#projecthood#impactchurch#youthforchrist#campuslife#nbcrefuge#january2019reflections Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2019 at Global Evangelist & Educator
NSGC WEEKLY Dear NSGC Family, This past Sunday we heard an edifying and piercing message by Pastor Bob on the topic of pain and suffering in the life of a Christian. I appreciated this message because he did not give us a surface level sermon, but rather allowed God to use him to deliver a message that would challenge us to examine every situation we encounter carefully and reflect on what God can do through us, in us and for us during seasons of disappointments with God. This Sunday after church we will be having a family meeting. The purpose of this meeting is to listen, love and pray for one another. It is a time to share our desires for the future of our church and express concerns while we also allow God to show areas of life where we as a body of Christ can grow and develop. As a leadership team, we truly want this meeting to be comfortable for everyone involved. Its purpose is to get us all on the same page as a church unit. I understand that many of you have attended NSGC for over a decade and have seen it go through many... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2019 at Global Evangelist & Educator
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We need to teach our teenagers the attributes of God. When we teach them about God It will cause them to listen more, talk less and pray more! To truly know God is to desire to spend time with Him in prayer. One of the reasons we should be excited about teaching students the attributes of God is that you learn so much about the mercy of God. It is important to teach your teenagers under your care about the mercy of God because it causes them to pray to God daily for his mercy. Nothing makes a teenager fall in love with God and grow more deeply with their parents than learning about God of the Bible. Nothing changes your prayer life like learning about God through His Word. When a teenager is taught properly the doctrines of God, God ignites in that church a passion for prayer, and a passion to know Him more closely, personally, and intimately. Let us teach teenagers about God by reflecting the joy of the Lord in our lives! Respectfully Pastor James (PJ) Continue reading
Posted Jan 24, 2019 at Global Evangelist & Educator
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Parents! Our painful experiences in this world with our children are not meant to break us! God can use those events to help us know him better. They are also not designed to be the lenses that you see God as a divine oligarch but a kind and loving father. As children of God we should allow His words not our experiences teach us about God. His ways our higher than our ways. We show the children in our lives that the God is a loving parent and Bible is real by how we correct them. Do not allow your parenting to be driven by your emotions. A.W. Tower in his awesome book “The Knowledge of Holy”, reminds us that an important part of emotional perspective of how the world of parenting works is what we think about God. How we view “God” is the most important “thought” in our minds because it affects everything we say to children. It affects our perception of right and wrong, the way we treat teenagers when they get bad grades, and the way we think about ourselves when we fail God as adults. Many parents in our society today claim to believe in... Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2019 at Global Evangelist & Educator
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I love seeing Christmas lights during Christmas. I love seeing the smiles on the faces of children as they make Christmas lists for Santa, homes decorated with the nativity scene, and I love to see cars decorated with Christmas lights and ornaments. At North Side Gospel Center, I see a lot of good things from God happening, and what I see, brings me joy this Christmas. Do you see what I see this Christmas season? Do you see the “gifts“ that God has given us this season for our church? I see the gifts of changed lives in adults and children; I see God working through our church to grow His Kingdom. Do you see what I see? Here are some more great things that I see God doing this year during this Christmas season: The power of God has awakened a passion in the lives of teenagers to make church attendance a part of their weekly routine. Every week, during this past quarter, we have seen half a dozen teenagers attend our church without a parent or guardian. These teenagers are a gift to our church, and our church family is a gift to these teenagers. Friends, teenagers in... Continue reading
Posted Dec 19, 2018 at Global Evangelist & Educator
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Look at God! His is so kind to me. Wow! I had nothing to do with this! He is kind to me! Wow! Dear Close Friends and Prayer Partners, For the past twenty years , God has been good, generous, and kind to me but professional I have “felt” like a failure in many ways. I have always considered my “professional and personal life” mediocre at best, though I have worked hard to proclaim the message of Jesus Christ to teenagers and adults across the world. Then this weekend. God opened a big door (without my help) to speak as a guest teacher at a large church. I was recommended by one of my mentors. In the interest of full disclosure, I was so scared of failure I almost declined this ministry opportunity because of my ego and pride. Many times the “fear of failure” in my life has been fueled by my ego and my desire to preserve my comfort zone. Silent Night (Randhurst) from The Bridge on Vimeo. Never in my adult life have I ever been asked to teach the Bible during three services at a vibrant (multi-campus) and growing, warm, friendly church with a weekly attendance... Continue reading
Posted Dec 13, 2018 at Global Evangelist & Educator
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It takes courage to believe in a God when you regularly hear gunshots in your neighborhood. It takes courage to believe in a good God when your school is located in a neighborhood where people get shot at least once month It takes courage to believe that God is a good father when you have never met your earthly father. It takes courage to believe in heaven, smile at a Pastor, go to church when you know some one in your family was killed last night by a senseless act of cruel violence . It takes courage to walk back and forth to school every day, get good grades, and focus on your dreams to go college when you know you could stop a bullet. Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2018 at Global Evangelist & Educator
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Over the past 5 decades our American culture has effectively redefined Christmas. We have slowly lived through the depreciation of Christ being the focal point of this holiday season. Dating back to October we have seen more information about decorations than the recognition of God having sent a form of Himself into this world so that we could have eternal life. This season would sooner be defined as a time to giving and receive, a season to spend and splurge, or the worst….. A season to impress those we don’t care about before it was defined as the birth date of Jesus. God’s words in the Bible remind us that Christmas is not just about a day but it is a season of allowing the birth of Jesus Christ and His message to invade the darkness of our world. From the way He was divinely conceived to the intentional orchestration of the birth in a manger… the coming of Jesus reminds us that God is not mad at the world! This is a great message that should transform every Christian. God is not mad the world! We know this because He sent His son, the prince of peace, to reconcile... Continue reading
Posted Dec 2, 2018 at Global Evangelist & Educator
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Dear Friends, I am writing you all with excitement and anticipation as during my 10 day vacation to Africa turning 40! That’s right, I am 4 0! I am grateful to be alive and I feel so blessed to be walking into my 4th decade of life. The past 3 months has caused me to spend a lot of time reflecting on the past 20 years of my life in ministry, as well as planning the next 20! .As I have been gathering wisdom and discerning God’s Will for my life it brought me to remember how I have become the man I am today. I realized that at my core, I have my parents to thank for the person I have evolved into. They laid the firm foundation that I still build upon today. My mother and father are truly the biggest blessings I have received in my life thus far. They are truly the best parents any person could ask for. That may sound cliche and I could be slightly bias, however the following reasons are what led me to realize the Lord blessed me with the greatest parents. They Live Disciplined Lives : When it comes to... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2018 at Global Evangelist & Educator
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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 Global Evangelist & 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 Global Evangelist & 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 Global Evangelist & 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 Global Evangelist & 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 Global Evangelist & 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 Global Evangelist & 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 Global Evangelist & 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 Global Evangelist & Educator