Going Where God Leads

Jan. 30, 2014 - by Katy Ward

MNU Experience Prepares Alum for More Than He Dreamed

By Rachel Phelps ('09)
January 30, 2014
Business Degree Leads to Youth Ministry

When Kevin Liddle (’12) and his wife Ashley (’12) were asked to coffee by their former pastor John Marra (‘80) of Olathe Living Hope Church of the Nazarene, they assumed it was just to catch up since they had recently moved back to the area from Colorado. They were surprised to learn that a meeting over coffee would lead to an opportunity for ministry and a new career.

The Liddles had moved to Colorado to be near family and pursue life after graduation. Kevin was putting his organizational leadership degree to use as manager of a Waterway Car Wash. With a BSN, Ashley was applying for jobs but so far had not found success. After much prayer they decided that Ashley should apply for positions in other states.

“We prayed about what to do, and God told us that she should apply in another state,” Liddle says. “So she applied in Oklahoma and Kansas, and within one week of applying, she got a RN job at Shawnee Mission Medical Center working in the NICU.”

While the move back to Kansas allowed Ashley to put her nursing degree to use in her dream job, it left Kevin looking for a new job. Naturally he assumed a business or management position would be ideal.

Living Hope had been their church home during college so they resumed attending there and Kevin began volunteering as a sponsor for Living Hope’s youth group. Over coffee Marra presented an idea to Kevin.

“We got to talking about what God had been doing in our lives and how I was still waiting patiently for a new job,” Liddle says, “when he explained that the church potentially had a job opportunity for me as the executive director of their BRIDGES sports ministry program. I was very excited about the opportunity because not only was it a job in which my organizational leadership degree would apply, but it was also involved in sports.”

BRIDGES, which stands for Building Relationships Intentionally that Develop Gifts and Encourage Service, is a volunteer-led community sports program that offers NFL Flag football, cheerleading and soccer programs to 5-12 year-old boys and girls, as well as an outdoor volleyball season for teens and adults on summer nights.

In later conversations the job offer took another turn as Liddle was asked by Marra to consider being the church’s youth group leader. Business Degree Leads to Youth MinistryLiddle with his Living Hope youth group.

 “I was shocked and asked him, ‘You know I was a business major, not a ministry major right?’ He laughed and asked me to pray about it.  I did and God kept showing me that this was where He wanted me,” says Liddle.

Now he ministers to 6th through 12th graders weekly in addition to directing the BRIDGES program. Kevin, who played baseball at MNU, enjoys the chance to continue in athletic endeavors. While the dual responsibilities keep him busy, his management skills help him juggling commitments. He credits his education at MNU in part for preparing him for the job. 

“My MNU experience was great preparation for my position.  The business professors went over and above to prepare me to succeed in management in the real world.  I know that they not only cared about my education, but my personal life as well,” says Liddle. “The MNU culture is special.  My faith became stronger as God showed me who I was in Him and that He has a plan for me.  All I had to do was surrender to Him and be obedient.

In addition, working as a resident assistant in the dorms gave Liddle valuable experience which prepared him to work with his youth group. Kevin says walking through life with the teens is a privilege. It wasn’t how he envisioned using his degree, but it is where he thinks he’s been heading for a long time.

“It wasn't even on my radar, but it is amazing how God has been equipping me and what He has done with our teens.  There have been many times during the process where I wasn't sure how to plan a mission trip or what to speak on for our youth group night, but God has been faithful and has shown me exactly what He wants to say to the teens,” says Liddle.

His relationship with MNU isn’t just in the past. Liddle says he wants to build a partnership between Living Hope and MNU to provide his teens with opportunities to connect with the campus and the faculty. Both Kevin and Ashley are thrilled to be able to keep connected to their alma mater.

“It is a very special opportunity to be where I am,” says Liddle. “Being in a job that is so fulfilling and being so close to the best university in the world, I feel that God has blessed me with so much.”

 

MNU News

Sunday, June 25
Recent News
List
Grid
Archives
Jason Heidi Menard
Driven to Succeed: Alum Taps into Hard Work, Passion, and Energy

Driven to Succeed: Alum Taps into Hard Work, Passion, and Energy

Some people might say that alum Jason Menard, just 7 years out of MNU, is too young to be a high school assistant principal and athletic director.…

Read More
Stowe in China
MNU Professor Selected for Prestigious Fellowship

MNU Professor Selected for Prestigious Fellowship

The U.S. Department of State announced the selection of Ramona Stowe of MidAmerica Nazarene University (MNU) for a 10-month fellowship project…

Read More
PrayerWalk2016-74
Visit MNU Exhibit at GA2017

Visit MNU Exhibit at GA2017

If you’re attending The Church of the Nazarene General Assembly or any of the associated conventions June 21 to June 29, 2017, in Indianapolis, Indiana, be sure to stop by the MNU exhibits.…

Read More
mnugrad-004
MNU Mourns Passing of Former President Ed Robinson

MNU Mourns Passing of Former President Ed Robinson

Dr. Edwin H. Robinson, fourth president of MidAmerica Nazarene University, went home to be with the Lord on Saturday, May 27, 2017. Dr. Ed, as he was…

Read More
MNU website 162
Chem Students’ Research May Help Other Universities

Chem Students’ Research May Help Other Universities

MNU chemistry research students are working on new ways to explore the interactions between gold nanoparticles and photoswitching molecules under the…

Read More
Supernova Remnants
New Findings in Professors’ Supernova Research

New Findings in Professors’ Supernova Research

Associate Professor of Physics Drew Overholt and his colleagues are continuing to research the effects of supernova on Earth’s biology. Soon the…

Read More
BarkmanBees-12
New Bee Colonies Bring Multiple Research Possibilities

New Bee Colonies Bring Multiple Research Possibilities

A big addition to the wildlife that biology students will study, arrived on campus last week. Thanks to the generous donation of Brent (FS ’85) and…

Read More
The Most Impactful Inventions in Each State

The Most Impactful Inventions in Each State

  They say necessity is the mother of all invention, but which states inspired which inventions? Whether the invention was necessary or not is…

Read More
Open House Pic
Accelerated and Graduate Programs Open House

Accelerated and Graduate Programs Open House

The School of Professional and Graduate Studies is hosting open houses at its Liberty and Olathe locations. TUESDAY, June 13      …

Read More
Sports
Lindsay Smith Named Next MNU Cheerleading Coach

Lindsay Smith Named Next MNU Cheerleading Coach

OLATHE, Kan. - Director of Athletics Todd Garrett has announced Lindsay Smith as the next head coach of MNU Cheerleading.

 
2017 Women's Soccer Newcomers

2017 Women's Soccer Newcomers

click title for more

 
Graham Highlights Track & Field Nationals

Graham Highlights Track & Field Nationals

Graham Brings Home National Champion Honors As Men Break Into Top 10, Women Top 50 In Second Year Restarting the Program.

 
Latest Photos
MNU Commencement 2017 Professional & Graduate Studies Commencement
MNU Commencement 2017 Professional & Graduate Studies Commencement
MNU Commencement 2017 Professional & Graduate Studies Commencement
MNU Commencement 2017 Professional & Graduate Studies Commencement
MNU Commencement 2017 Professional & Graduate Studies Commencement
MNU Commencement 2017 Professional & Graduate Studies Commencement