Jonah Coughlin joins Neva Lee Recla to share his insight on what it’s like being a kids pastor at Christ’s Church of the Valley (CCV). Jonah is the pastor for the fifth and sixth graders at CCV. He loves hockey, The Avengers and Star Wars. He is such an inspiration to Neva and she looks up to him as a great leader and role model to young kids like two year-olds that Neva volunteers for. Jonah is a joy to talk to and a hilarious person. Listen in as these two inspirations talk about doing God’s work and participating at CCV.
Hi, everyone. This is your Super Power Kid, Neva Lee Recla. I’m so extremely excited for today’s interview. We are going to be talking about the life of a kids’ pastor at Christ’s Church of the Valley. Christ’s Church of the Valley or CCV is where my family and I attend church. Basically, a huge college campus, but a church.
I am a volunteer for the two-year-olds and I’m a part of the worship team, so I get to sing and dance for the little ones and teach them about God and Jesus, how much they love us and that we can have superpowers in God and in spirit. Our guest today is super amazing. His name’s Jonah Coughlin. He is my pastor in the fifth and sixth grade room. He loves hockey, the Avengers, and Star Wars. He’s just so amazing and I’m so excited to have him on today. Without further ado, will you help me introduce our guest, Jonah.
Neva, how are you?
I’m good. How are you?
Awesome. Thank you for coming on.
Of course. Thanks for having me on.
Yeah. What are your super powers?
Super powers. Other than being super funny, I just love being around people. I think that’s a super power of mine is there’s not people who I shy away from, and so getting to hang out with people from all walks of life has been probably my biggest superpower.
That’s really cool. I find that sometimes there’s people who kind of misjudge before they go up and talk to a person.
I admit, I’ll have my moments where I’m kind of 50-50, I’m an extrovert at some times. Typically on my interviews, I’m always an extrovert, but then sometimes in person with somebody I’m more of an introvert, and so it’s kind of cool having the superpower just being able to go up to somebody and kind of let God work through you.
Yeah. That’s really fun.
Yeah. What does it mean to be a kids’ pastor?
Yeah. To be a kids’ pastor is something that kind of looks different for everybody. You’d probably get a different answer if you asked all of the kids’ pastors at CCV. But for me, I see my role as the chance to lead kids closer to Jesus through their coaches and the volunteers that we have in our kids’ ministry. A lot of my role is meeting with the coaches and the volunteers who make the ministry run so that they can be equipped to spend time with kids on the weekend and teach them and lead them closer to Jesus and just teach them more about who Jesus thinks they are and and how much he loves them.
That’s really cool. Church is so amazing. Going to CCV is amazing and even arriving early just to see kind of the behind the scenes of what work goes into it to get it set up so everyone can have an amazing day there is so amazing. We go from about 3:30 to almost 9:00.
It’s just kind of our relaxation time to kind of let everything that happened in the week just kind of go away. It is truly amazing and it’s a really big church. It’s the largest in Arizona and sixth largest in the nation. So that gives you kind of a frame up for how big it is.
How many people actually attend our campus alone?
Okay. I don’t want to just throw out a number. I know it’s a lot. I know that a majority of CCV, whatever attendance numbers they have online, a majority of that attends the Peoria campus. It was the campus where it all started, which has been cool to see. I’ve actually gotten to grow up here and so I’ve been going to CCV since I was a baby.
Oh, that’s cool.
Just seeing all of the change that has happened has been really cool. It’s definitely something I take for granted. Like I look around and I’m like, “Oh, this is huge.” It’s always been huge. But when we do things like our sunrise service or just getting to see the auditorium full at Christmas or Easter is really cool to see like, “Oh.” It’s truly something special. That’s always a good reminder for me.
That’s cool. We attended the Christmas service last year and it was so amazing. Their songs were so cool and it’s so hard imagining how big the campuses and that one pastor has the power to bring a huge group of people together and everyone is in bliss.
Basically, what does being a Christian mean to you? Because probably if I were to ask somebody else, they’d have a completely different answer than what I would answer.
What does it mean for you?
Yeah. A phrase that I’ve kind of adopted as my own, as a big part of being a Christian, is just failing forward. So obviously there’s nothing in the Bible that says that we’re perfect until we move on to heaven. It’s knowing that I’m going to do my best to follow God, to read my Bible, to love people knowing that I’m going to mess up, but I’m going to take those mistakes and move forward in them. Being a Christian is just doing your best to love God and love people.
Just living in Jesus’ love every single day and knowing that I’m going to make mistakes even though I’m a Pastor and I’m not supposed to make mistakes, but when I do, that Jesus loves me and died for me and so I can move forward knowing that.
Yeah. No matter how many times we mess up in a day, that does not change how much God loves us.
That’s so amazing to know because going into a room, being a volunteer, it’s my responsibility to stay in love and have a high frequency, so I can carry that onto the little ones and I can show them you can be in love and you can trust God every step of the way. Right. So what is your favorite part of campus to go to?
I think, I really love the fifth and sixth grade room. It’s a fun place to hang out. It is colorful, it has games, it’s always freezing cold. When it’s 110 outside, it’s just nice to go in there even for 5 or 10 minutes just to cool off. But it’s just such a special place for me and it’s fun to get in there sometimes and just kind of take it all in, take the room in. It’s just a place I feel comfortable.
Yeah, I agree. It’s always kind of my relaxation time after chasing around a bunch of two-year-olds and I love all the two-year-olds. They’re amazing, but they are very chaotic at times and so, just being able to go in and talk to my coaches and relax and worship, that’s probably one of my favorite parts about going to church.
That’s awesome. That’s so good to hear.
Yeah. It’s really amazing and I would kind of expect it being so big, not being as welcomed, but it’s the exact opposite. We’ve gone to quite a few churches before and none of them, I really felt welcomed. I kind of felt like everyone was off doing their own thing and coming to CCV has opened up my heart a little bit and I’ve noticed that because it’s so big and everyone’s kind of been going there for a long time, everyone’s like a big family, almost.
Yeah. That’s so awesome to hear. That’s a cool story.
Thank you. We actually do need to take a quick break. I could go on and on about CCV. I could probably go on for like weeks, but if you want to hear more about this, you can go watch my Mom’s show. She talked to Dr. Mark Moore, who’s their teaching pastor, all about church basically and they talked a lot more about CCV.
Jonah, can you let our listeners know where they can go to find out more about you?
Yeah, I am on Instagram. That’s pretty much it. Instagram and Facebook. You can search me on Facebook by just searching my name, Jonah Coughlin or you can follow me on Instagram at Jonah_Coughlin or if you come to CCV on the weekends, I’ll be there in the fifth and sixth grade room hanging out. Would love to get to meet all of you. Yeah, that’s where you can hear more about me.
Awesome. Definitely go check him out because he is so amazing, has such a big impact on me and on all the other kids in my room. Definitely go check him out and also, we’ve been talking with Jonah Coughlin about the life of a kids’ pastor at CCV. We’ll be right back.