Like most other youth workers across the country, the last few months have been stretching and challenging for Seth Larson. But the one constant through all the uncertainty is that God has been working in his youth.
Larson is the Youth Director at Prince of Peace Lutheran in Beulah, North Dakota. He works alongside his wife, Becca, both 2018 graduates of Free Lutheran Bible College. This is his third year in the position, and because of the pandemic it’s been the most challenging.
“It has been hard to count on anything,” Larson said, “or even make plans knowing that just before they could very well be ripped out from under at the last minute.” But in spite of the health precautions and scheduling concerns, Larson is quick to point out the many ways he’s been blessed this year.
Pastor Kent Sperry speaks highly of both Seth and Becca, and is thankful for their partnership in ministry. “We’ve definitely been blessed by having them as a part of our congregation,” Sperry said. “And they really stepped into some heavy ministry as they got their feet wet at Prince of Peace. Their first year, they had several kids coming to our youth programs from the community who were struggling with their sexual identity. They were able to both proclaim to these kids, along with the youth groups as a whole, the truth of Scripture and to do so in a way where these young people kept on coming.”
“I have seen God work in so many ways,” Larson said. “I have seen my youth struggle with every single type of sin, temptation, and hardship that I could imagine. But they keep coming back to the youth group. God guides better than I ever can.”
Larson admits that the initial reasons for choosing the Bible College were convenience and expense, but he quickly realized that he was making a spiritual investment. His second year at the school in particular was transformative.
“It was the first place I was faced with problems that I wasn’t sure I could solve,” Larson said. “And it was because of those problems that I grew with God and his Word.”
Larson says a theme he kept hearing in his classes was: “Scripture interprets Scripture.” Learning this simple principle has changed the way he faces problems and questions. Instead of doubting something, or accusing someone, or misunderstanding some verse, Larson was taught to just return to the Word!
It’s this same Word-centered approach that Larson shares with his youth group. He admits that he doesn’t know the answer to every problem his youth might struggle with, and he says he doesn’t always tell them what they want to hear. He shares what God’s Word says.
Pastor Sperry has been impressed by both Seth and Becca’s leadership and relationship building. “Their strength has been building relationships with our young people. Even though they do a good job of maintaining order even when the number of kids borders on crazy, the youth all seem to genuinely like them both.”
He also speaks highly of Becca, and is thankful for her involvement in ministry. “It’s also been a blessing as Becca makes a point of participating with Seth in all aspects of his ministry,” Pastor Sperry said. “I know that our girls love having someone they can go to with issues they’d rather not discuss with a man.”
An Illinois native, Larson said that North Dakota was the one state he promised he would never move to. It wasn’t easy to leave friends and family behind and move away from everything familiar, but Larson is more than happy to have followed God’s leading and knows he’s in a good place.
“It’s easy to know God has a plan,” Larson said. “But I have found that when you stop dying on your own hills and start climbing God’s hills, you quickly find that the view gets a lot better.”
That new and better view has been encouraging and refreshing for the Larson’s throughout their time in Beulah, and especially these last few months. Tasked with sharing God’s Word and speaking God’s truth to a wandering and distracted culture, Larson says that God’s light and truth are unmistakable.
No one’s really sure when the effects of the pandemic will stop, or when life and ministry will return to normal. But the Larson’s know that even in trying and uncertain times, God will continue to work.
Article by: Andrew Kneeland
Share this Post