The Rev. Derek Broten has accepted the call to become associate director of Youth Ministry for the LCMS, with plans to begin working at the International Center in St. Louis around Oct. 1.
Broten has served as a director of Christian education (DCE) in Wichita, Kan., and Woodbury, Minn., and as a pastor in Stillwater, Minn. In addition to degrees in ministry and Christian education, he also has a master’s degree in Parish Administration and Education from Concordia University in St. Paul, Minn.
Broten traces his interest in youth ministry to a DCE who influenced him in eighth grade as well as to his own experience of attending the LCMS Youth Gathering in 1988:
“I will never forget … walking into McNichols Arena in Denver, Colorado, as a soon-to-be ninth-grader and seeing a full arena of teenagers who loved Jesus. It’s hard to believe that 29 years later I can devote full-time attention to an event that has had such a powerful impact on me.”
In his role as associate director of LCMS Youth Ministry, Broten will be responsible for overseeing the Youth Gathering and its attendant programs. He already has experience with the Gathering, having served on the Concert, Community Life and Dome Event teams in the past.
Says the Rev. Mark Kiessling, director of LCMS Youth Ministry: “Derek brings a pastoral heart, shares Christ’s love for young people, [and] has invested greatly in the Gathering. We look forward to witnessing how God uses his gifts to direct the Gathering program and planning process into new, exciting places, building us up in Christ.”
The associate director position was vacated by Kiessling in January 2016 when he was appointed director, taking over the role from the retiring Rev. Dr. Terry K. Dittmer. Since that time, Kiessling and the rest of the Youth Ministry staff have been covering the associate director responsibilities.
Broten is married to Kristin, and they have four children: John, 16; Johanna, 15; Ella, 12; and Elijah, 6. Kristin is a parochial teacher who has worked in both the private and public school systems.
The LCMS Youth Ministry staff thanks the Rev. Bart Day, former executive director of the Office of National Mission, for his assistance in the search process, which Kiessling says presented an opportunity to hear many stories about the impact the Gathering has made in the lives of current pastors, DCEs, teachers and other church workers: “It was a blessing to hear how God uses the Gathering to connect young people to the Gospel, their local congregation, and the larger body of Christ.”
Posted Sept. 14, 2017