I was raised in a Christian home by godly parents who taught me about Jesus from a young age. I was saved at the age of 4 and surrendered my life to preach at the age of 14. I worked in the bus route and taught jr church from that point on. I didn’t notice anything weird till my new youth leader came in when I was 14. He would only promote and talk about 1 college in particular which was hyles Anderson. When I say that is all he talked about I mean that is the only youth conferences he would want to go to. The church I grew up in would always go to the wilds Christian camp and I myself grew up going to that camp. I personally think it is the best camp they are very ballanced. My parents would take me every year with them to family camp. Back to my original story. My youth leader cut out the wilds and only promoted hyles Anderson youth conference. We would go to local youth meetings but I started to realize that we would all dress super fancy in suites and the girls in skirts which seemed ok until we were the only ones wearing that at youth events with activities. We were specticals and looked weird. During youth group he would preach against skirts and ccm Christian music and the list goes on. My parents left that church for a while for their own reasons. We came back and my youth leader was now the pastor and seemed to mellow out. Right away he had me teaching jr church and teen Sundayschool at 17. I continued to teach those classes until he took us to youth conference. This was the first time I went to hyles Anderson youth conference and wow were my eyes opened to the craziness. I saw things I was disappointed by. I saw bus kids and church kids treated differently snd I saw the pastor jack schapp at the time bullying people from the pulpit I also heard sermons against pink ties pink shirts and loads of sermons against pants and ccm music. I never once heard anything about personal Bible study or personal relationship with God through Bible study. Once I came back from the conference I had a big talk with my parents about it. My parents were always pretty balanced and would listen to me. I told them what I had seen and they were very supportive and helped me find another Bible college to go to. We found a pretty good college in Tampa Florida close to my house so I was able to commute each day. The college and church were great for the first 2 years till they had a leadership change. The pastor retired because of health reasons and they brought in a new pastor. He seemed nice at the beginning but then he showed his true colors. He put people on positions who cared about the outside and not really the inside. Time came for me to do my internship and I had a church in mind that was close to my house and was a very good church they lined up with the college. By the way this church is the church where the new pastor of the college came from and they had a new pastor come in after he left. Small world it was my old pastor before my youth pastor had taken over as pastor. The college was not happy with my choice and told me they would pick for me. They did agree and I started my internship as youth director. I was there a total of 4 years. My internship was to last 2 months. When the 2 months were up the pastor asked if I wanted to stay and I prayed about it and said yes. The first 2 years were amazing I learned a lot. I was able to get into the public school and coach and invite teens to the church for activities and was able to have a great outreach with Gods help. At the 2 year mark the pastor hired an associate pastor to help him with day to day stuff. The associate pastor was from hyles Anderson and that started the spiral down. Right away I was pulled into meetings asking why I wasn’t teaching the girls to wear higher shirts and skirts instead of pants. I was also asked why I was having (bussed in kids) in Wednesday’s when it was the (core kids) night. We would pick up kids from the high school every Wednesday In my personal truck and my parents would help as well. I was also asked to tell the teen boys to not wear sleeveless shirts. It got so bad that one time I was asked to tell a girl in the teen group to wear a shirt that covered up her chest. As you can imagine the discussion was heated and I ended up not doing it. After 2 more years it got worse and I ended up leaving and going to a small church near my house that is a Baptist church but the pastor is very laid back and teaches through the Bible chapter by chapter. He also explains why He believes the way He does on certain issues and also listens to people and doesn’t force it on you as a church member. My experience at the church where I was a youth pastor at almost ruined church for me and it really hurt. My parents were very supportive in this when I was thinking about leaving. I would say I have grown in my personal Bible study because I am now learning how to search out things for myself in the Bible and not just listening to what I am told. I would say to anybody having problems in the IFB don’t be afraid to leave if you need to and don’t feel stuck. Let God lead you through His word and also family if possible. 

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