We recently sat down with Ryan Zeulner (Grace High School Pastor) and his wife Jenn to talk about their experience so far at Grace. Ryan joined the Grace staff as the High School pastor in February of this year and we would like to introduce them to you.
Grace: How long have you been at Grace
Ryan: We have been at Grace for a little over two months now, but have wanted to be here for well over a year!
Grace: Why did you come to Grace?
Ryan: We came to Grace for the community, the solid family atmosphere and the opportunity to serve the high school students and their family. It is such a pleasure for us to be at a place where we already have so many friends even though we are so new.
Grace: How are you connected to the community of Grace?
Ryan: Through our connections at Biola and our old church Calvary Church of Santa Ana there are at least 20 people that we know well at Grace. Every time we showed up we found more and more people were going to Grace. GFC definitely has a magnetism to it for us. Mark Page and I started meeting on a regular basis about a year ago and talked ministry and life. Our friendship grew and now it is awesome to see how that played a part in bringing us here.
Grace: How are you serving at Grace?
Ryan: We are leading the charge in the high school ministry arena. We have the opportunity to start with a clean slate, which is fun and scary at the same time. We are looking to put together a worship team, bring in quality leadership and develop great relationships with the students. We can provide leadership but are really relying on God to put all the pieces together. We believe he will bring the right people to get in elbow deep with the lives of teenagers. I can honestly say that we have amazing students in the high school ministry waiting to be loved by volunteer leaders.
Grace: How are you being served at Grace?
Ryan: The body of Grace has been so kind to us. We have been hungry for people to take us in and take interest in us. Jenn and I have seen just how thoughtful and intentional the people of GFC are. Thank you to everyone who has invited us over for dinner, their Bible Study, or any other event. We long to be entrenched in this community and the open doors have helped us start to make that transition.
Grace: How is God working in your lives?
Ryan: God is working on my leadership as a man. I am being tested and all eyes are on me as I lead this high school ministry (both its leaders and students). I am being stretched as a leader in the home and in my personal life as I go through this transition from everything I've known to something totally brand new. God is good and is calling me to renew my strength in him. For Jenn, its about being a burn survivor, a mom of our energetic 3 year old, and as a mentor that desires authentic relationships with woman and there identity in the Lord! She has been given passion to pour into the lives of these high school girls and their leaders.
Grace: Do you have any goals / challenges / hopes / plans for your family this year?
Ryan: We have a couple. For those that don't know we have a beautiful daughter named Taylor. She is our little Rock Star! She will be a big sister this year and we feel so blessed and excited to welcome our new little one in October! With the addition to our family and the relocation of my job we would love to be more centrally located in a home that fits us. Our prayer is that God will open doors for us to move closer to Grace. We feel that this could only be a God sized move.
Grace: Where do you see yourself a year from now?
Ryan: A year from now we will have one more Zeulner and we will have a fully functioning ministry team and everyone will be excellent in their ministry role. Our relationships with the students of the high school ministry will each be special and unique and the LOVE will OVERFLOW onto the families and friends of those blessed by the work being done in and around Grace Fellowship. God will be honored and the people of Costa Mesa will know that he is the One True God. It will be so great to sit back a year from now at a table with our closest Grace friends and enjoy the warmth of God's Goodness as we reflect on the past 365 days. We'll laugh at all the times we stressed or doubted, because in the end He knows exactly what we need at just the right time. This story is God's and we get to play a very important part of it. Thanks to anyone reading this because you are also part of the very same story!
Thank you Zuelner family for sharing you story!