Benjamin J Videtich ::

Mountain View, CA | 231.349.1328 | benvidetich@gmail.com 

Pastoral Experience 


Palo Alto Vineyard Church [Summer 2017-present] ::

Currently serving as a pastor of youth and missions at a healthy and vibrant church in Silicon Valley. My primary responsibilities in my youth role include program development in youth ministry, retreat planning and coordination, teaching/speaking to youth, investing in volunteer leaders, leading worship, and helping young leaders to invest in new ways. On the missions side [25%] I work closely with a missions board to support local, domestic, and international partners both financially and through projects. My role helps closely connect our staff of seven to the missions board and the congregation [about 250].

City Church San Francisco [Spring 2016-Spring 2017] ::

Served as a youth pastor for 13 months [my tenure was short because of some very significant staffing changes stemming from a large budget decrease; I was laid off along with several others and the church consolidated from two campuses to one]. My primary responsibilities included weekly teaching, discipleship, volunteer training, missional engagement, and retreat leadership and planning. Because the group had been without a pastor or significant presence for the past year, a significant aspect of the time I spent went into discerning a workable vision for the students-and communicating this effectively. Thankfully, the youth pastor I worked with, who was in charge of our church’s second campus, has now transitioned into my former role, though it is now part-time. 

One of the biggest accomplishments of my time at City Church was the discerning and implementation of a guiding vision that helped anchor our work. We sought to create future memories of each student’s tenure in our ministry: 1. Jesus Centered [I remember how this group was united as followers of Jesus] 2. Safe/Sacred [I remember learning I am created in God’s image, and I need to love God and love others around me] 3. Mission to the Marginalized [I remember learning God’s distinct concern for the poor and broken, and also living it out in community].

Another aspect of my role was hospitality and church engagement. I was part of a team that not only helped curate the Sunday experience, but also planned and led other events centered on missional engagement. These included but were not limited to spiritual formation classes, documentary film screenings, and social gatherings for newcomers.

Ordained Pastor of Word and Sacrament in the Reformed Church in America [RCA] City Classis [December 2016-Present] :: 

Completed the relationally and spiritually intensive process of ordination in the Reformed Church in America, beginning in October 2014; I was ordained at City Church San Francisco in December of 2016. Because I graduated from a non-Reformed seminary, I took classes through the MFCA [Ministerial Formation Candidacy Agency], an educational branch within the RCA, in my time as an ordinand. During my years of formation and mentoring, I crafted a CREDO which systematically outlines some of my foundational beliefs which continue to guide my pastoral work. I also began relationships with pastors and leaders within the Reformed Church that continue to sustain me today. 

benvidetich.com [2012-Present] ::

A number of years ago, I recognized the power of sharing my spiritual experiences-the challenges, chances, excitement, and sheer joy of living. My blog focuses in on what it means to experience life as a follower of Jesus, to see things in a different light, to look at the unusual ways God works in my life and in the world. It is a largely self-deprecating work, very personal in nature though the subjects of my content do vary. Because you have found yourself on this page of my blog, please consider perusing other portions of this site-there is more to discover! 

RiverTree Community, Wyoming, MI [Spring 2013-Spring 2016] ::

I engaged in ministry at a small [about 110 weekly worshipers] missional church community as I continued ordination. My primary responsibilities included worship leading, music volunteer development and training, preaching, and developing our spiritual formation program for children and adolescents. I also contributed to discipleship, training, and spiritual vision-seeking, shaping music, small groups, and youth ministry. Careful planning and administration was also a significant part of my role, and pastoral presence within the church was central.

Grace Episcopal Church, Grand Rapids, MI [Fall 2009-Spring 2013] ::

Engaged in ministry at Grace Episcopal Church as a high school youth minister and pastoral assistant for four years. Primary responsibilities include teaching students from Scripture, planning and orchestrating weekly student worship gatherings, leading music and liturgy in our youth group, recruiting and developing volunteers, establishing structure and direction for the student ministry, and collaborating with staff for various youth ministry initiatives. With willing support from others, I pioneered a music and liturgy emphasis for our weekly student ministries gatherings and have cultivated a student volunteer base in addition to the young adult volunteers. I collaborated to create a comprehensive Scope and Sequence plan for spiritual formation, beginning with 4th grade and continuing through the end of high school. Other leadership objectives included spending intentional time discipling students at Grace, coordinating local, international, and domestic service and mission endeavors, conducting fundraisers, networking with staff and within the Grand Rapids community, consistent worship leading in the church, and collaborating to create vision for future endeavors within the context of student ministries at Grace. The pastoral assistant role includes communion and fellowship visits to parishioners as well as collaboration with the Rector to support various ministerial initiatives.

Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services, Grand Rapids, MI [February 2015-Spring 2016] ::

I worked in adolescent residential services at Pine Rest as a Care Provider in the Cedar Program. I work closely with therapists and social workers to coach 11-19 year olds toward physical, spiritual, and emotional wellness. The individuals we serve are, almost without exception, from extremely broken and dysfunctional families. Almost all residents have been either abused or neglected, and each of the 40 residents require a great deal of individuated care. 

Spring Arbor University, Spring Arbor, MI [Fall 2008-May 2009] ::

Served as a peer adviser under Robin Smith, Vice President of Student Development. Work responsibilities included creative mentoring and spiritual leadership of 2 freshmen groups of approximately 15 students [one group per academic year] in sustainable assimilation to the university. Within the context of the group of peer advisers, I was called upon for worship planning and spiritual leadership that included music, liturgy, prayer, and homiletical reflection. Within my role as a student leader, responsibilities included event organization and leadership, participation in weekly meetings for vision, mentoring freshmen students spiritually, socially, and academically, and networking to provide accountability in each of these areas for each freshman.

Trinity Fellowship Evangelical Free Church, Big Rapids, MI [Summers 2008+2009] ::

Collaborated as a full-time intern with youth pastor Don Hancock to reinforce and grow student ministries during the summer season. Primary responsibilities included planning and leading biweekly worship gatherings, coordinating volunteers for outreach, scheduling and implementing discipleship meetings with high school and middle school students, and networking with parents and various church leaders for initiatives. Additionally, I collaborated to plan and co-lead and orchestrate trips to the West Coast of Michigan, Canada, and West Virginia for Trinity’s summer adventure outreach ministry. 

Education ::

Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, MI [Fall 2009-May 2015] ::

Master of Divinity degree focusing in pastoral ministry. This emphasizes worship studies, systematic and biblical theology, biblical and linguistic studies, and church history. 

*Recipient of Pirsig Scholarship for students responding to leading in pastoral teaching ministry. 

*Recipient of Gilbertson Scholarship for students preparing for vocational ministry

*Recipient of the Doane Scholarship for individuals with excellent promise for pastoral ministry

Spring Arbor University, Spring Arbor, MI [Fall 2005-May 2009] ::

Bachelor of Arts degree in Worship Arts, focusing in creative worship leadership, music, collaborative team-building, technology, and the arts.

*Received various scholarships for academic achievement.   

Note: I have completed classes in youth ministry at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Seminars and Conferences 

*Princeton Forum on Youth Ministry – attended April 2017

*Progressive Youth Ministry Conference – attended February 2016

*Calvin Symposium on Worship – attended Januaries of 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012.

Relevant Skills ::

Having worked in various ministerial settings, skills are broad, yet focused in several areas. Spiritual guidance, teaching, and collaboration with other leaders have each been significant elements of my ministerial work in each setting. Corporate worship orchestration, collaborative planning, and musical leadership have been significant aspects of my experience. I have played guitar and piano in worship, leading primarily from the guitar. Having worked in both contemporary and formal/traditional worship spaces, I have fostered an attentiveness to the various predispositions toward music and worship within communities of faith and have learned how to facilitate the kind of music and formative liturgy that helps different types of worshiping communities move toward deep faith and centered mission. I simply love the church year. 

Christian formation and discipleship has been central also in each of my vocational endeavors. I have taught, led discussions, orchestrated meetings, planned services, networked with families, organized numerous mission trips, and planned curriculum for sustained student ministry. I have worked extensively with volunteers, recruiting, developing, and directing, both in music and youth discipleship formation. 

Links to Sermons :: 

Revolution is Conversion [Acts 9:1-9] 

Christmas Music: Simeon’s Song [Luke 2:25-35]

Sabbath Rest [Genesis 1-2, Mark 2]

A Few Helpful Aspects of My Lifestyle as it Relates to Pastoral Work ::

First, I have an outgoing personality. Anyone who knows me well will tell you about my ability to relate to about anyone. I may not know exactly what it is that motivates someone, but I can usually figure that out if you give me a little time. This relates directly to my vocational calling as a pastor. I spend a lot of time talking, writing, and thinking about how Jesus-centered belief transforms life in the present, and I can often help others connect the dots for themselves and make sense of how God is already present and concerned about their lives and relationships.

This next talking point relates to how I engage the material world. I am rather low maintenance. My wife and I share a Volvo wagon with almost 200,000 miles on it, and have no plans to upgrade. We live in a simple, two-bedroom home. We live quite simply, and this helps us focus on what is important: loving God and loving people. Our lifestyle also maximizes how much we can give away, so our living simply helps others to simply live. Like any other family, we have our occasion luxuries, but we feel a special call not to poverty, but to a lifestyle of simplicity.

As you will note from looking at my résumé, you may or may not notice the breadth of the Christian church that I have served. I grew up in an Evangelical Free Church, attended a Free Methodist college, and went on to an interdenominational seminary with baptistic roots while serving an Episcopal church. All of that was before I began ordination in the Reformed Church in America. My time in each of these circles has taught me a lot about the largeness of God, the diverse expression of the church, and the inherent strengths that come from unique faith traditions. These experiences have helped me shape a large picture of how God works through the Spirit in our world.

Segueing from my diverse experiences within various Christian traditions, I have also served in various ways. My experience with youth is especially significant, yet I have also exercised other pastoral extensively: I am no stranger to preaching/teaching, to leadership, or to pastoral care. My adaptable personality has helped me take on new pastoral roles as the need arises, even as my call to serve and to pastor has never wavered.

That said, all of my vocational experiences are directly related to the work and ministry of the church. Ok, that is not totally true; I did work on a couple different farms in high school and 12hrs/week at my college’s library. But since my conversion at age 13, I was either volunteering regularly within the church or serving part or full time. This is a blessing in that it has fostered within me a deep love for the church, imperfections and all.

IMG_5379Finally, I am a husband to Kaile, and father of two boys, Silas [b. 2015] and Maelin [b. 2016]. This says a lot about the general pace of my family life, but it also speaks to my values. I adore my wife and we cherish our kids. We also learn every single day about God’s grace as we care for these tiny beings. Yes, there is extra responsibility, but there is untold delight to parent little ones as we walk forward in God’s world, surrounded by the community of the church as founded in Jesus.

Enneagram :: 3w4

If you know anything about the Enneagram, you’ll remember the three; we are typically called either performers or achievers. We are amiable, adaptable, goal-oriented, and enjoy external affirmation from others. The dark side of our personality stems from this desire for success and purpose, as our base vice is deception. The strength of a three comes when we are honest with our true selves, when we live and lead out a sense of wholeness and wholeheartedness. My blog, personal relationships, and teaching/preaching have been primary places for me to exercise the humble honesty that keeps me from the dark side of my God-given personality.

I have a bit of a four wing, a little individualist streak in me that shows up with some regularity. You may notice this in my appearance, but I notice it in the way I function in relationship. Fours are unafraid of emotion in its many forms, and often predisposed to dwell on the past. My four wing has helped me connect more deeply to those around me who feel like they are disenfranchised from others.

Other Interests :: 

Travel :: Extensive and consistent worldwide travel, for mission and enjoyment alike. Canada, Mexico, Central America, Peru, the Caribbean, Southern and Western Europe, Cambodia, Hong Kong, as well as Palestine and Israel. These experiences have opened my eyes to God’s work in and throughout cultures and unique places in the world. 

Reading :: During my years of education, especially college and seminary, I have learned to navigate and greatly appreciate the vast breadth of literature especially within the Christian tradition, contemporary and ancient. 

Writing / Composing :: I write and reflect on biblical perspectives and theology in practice via blog. I also write and compose hymns and choruses for guitar and piano. 

Vinyl / Audio :: There is only form of media that I purchase as a hard copy: vinyl. Sure, I do a little Netflix and some Spotify, but if I really support an artist, I buy their LP. And I am convinced no one needs DVDs in their home. That’s what the library is for.

Photography :: I have professionally shot and edited senior pictures and engagement pictures and done extensive shooting and editing during travels, events, and ministry experiences.

Biking / Hiking :: I have traveled extensively on hiking and cycling trips, both road and mountain, in self-sustained and day trips in the US, Canada, Southern Europe, Peru.

Canoeing / Kayaking :: I have navigated lakes and rivers on canoe and kayak, in day and weeklong ventures. Though I detest cold water, floating on it is wonderful.