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Nick & Reba Grey | Living Waters Church, Alexandria

Summertime is right around the corner and the altars in the Worship Center at Lake Geneva Christian Center will soon be filled with kids and teens responding to the call of God on their lives. Years ago, Nick Grey was one of those students. He was called into ministry during an evening service at Youth Camp the summer after seventh grade. That night Nick had a vision of leading worship and preaching, and just a couple of months later he stepped into a student leadership role in his North Branch youth group serving under Kelly Neider. By tenth grade he was leading worship on Wednesday nights.

After he graduated high school, Nick knew he should attend North Central University. However, growing up without his father led him to pursue schooling for a job where he could provide for his future family, while being active in ministry. At one point, he was accepted into the mechanical engineering program at the University of Minnesota. God had a different plan and directed him back to NCU. After two days as a math major at NCU, he finally went all-in pursuing a biblical studies degree.

Nick met Reba at NCU, and a strong friendship eventually led them to marriage and ministry together. Their first assignment was Pierre, South Dakota where, among other things, they led worship and the youth group. Under their lead pastor’s leadership, the church grew in weekly attendance and over 100 people came to Christ for three years in a row.

Nick recalls telling Reba just a month before that, “I don’t think I’m ever going to be a lead pastor.”

In July 2017, their pastor felt led to move out of state and thought Nick and Reba would be a good fit to lead the church in Pierre. Nick recalls telling Reba just a month before that, “I don’t think I’m ever going to be a lead pastor.” At the time he had no desire to lead a church, but his pastor’s encouragement led Nick to reach out to three fellow pastors to be his mentors through the transition. He expected them to say he was too young to lead a church, but each of his mentors recognized a heart of humility and the gift of leadership.

Nick submitted his resume to the church for the lead pastor position, but ultimately the church chose another lead pastor. It was disheartening, and when they reached out to Mark Dean about returning to Minnesota, they initially only mentioned staff pastor positions. They didn’t know that a friend of theirs had already told Mark about their calling to lead a church. Mark suggested giving their names to open churches and seeing what happened.

It wasn’t long before they got a call from Mark Boone, the interim pastor at Living Waters Church in Alexandria, MN. From the first conversation they really felt like it was the right place. They soon candidated and shared their bold vision to reach the community. The church overwhelmingly voted them in, and they moved to Alexandria in October 2018.

Nick is one of over forty lead pastors in Minnesota under the age of 40. He joins other young pastors who recently took on lead pastor roles like Mike Maroney at Wadena Assembly of God and Greg Linz at Discover Church in Burnsville.

To young ministers who sense a call to lead a church, Nick encourages them, “Find an excellent lead pastor and serve him. Find mentors who are willing to tell you when you are ready, and know your gifts.“