With an Adventist pastor dad and an Adventist teacher mom, Chris Kaatz lived ministry whether he wanted to or not. And mostly, he did not. “My call to ministry wasn’t so much a call,” Kaatz says, “as a push. It took my high school religion teacher pushing me to be the pastor for a junior class trip to get my feet wet.”

After graduation, he was still resisting. Finally, working as a summer camp counselor and feeling conflicted about “the pastor thing,” he decided to make a list of the pros and cons of being a pastor. “Everything in the con section started with ‘I’ and everything in the pro section started with ‘God.’ I realized at that point that my choice was between my plans and God’s plans. I stopped dragging my feet and let God carry me, and I have been soaring with God ever since.”

Kaatz, a senior at La Sierra, is definitely now all-in, serving last year as University Worship director and this year as a student chaplain. “Preaching has definitely contributed to my personal growth,” Kaatz says. “There’s a lot of preparation that goes into a sermon—a lot of wrestling with the text, and struggling with con- text and meaning. Each sermon that I preach is one that I need to hear as much as my audience does.”

One of his most meaningful experiences as a student preacher? Realizing that he could be himself. “Preaching is not about having the perfect thing to say, but taking what can be said and making it your own. You are living life with the same people you are speaking to—and that makes preaching powerful.”


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