Having left a stable job at a bank to follow the call of the Lord on his life to pastor Christian youth across Lebanon, Pastor Joseph Kazzi is an outstanding example of sacrificial devotion to seeing the Kingdom of God furthered on earth. While still working in the secular domain and volunteering at his church during his free time, Pastor Kazzi observed a mass exodus of the young adult population out of the Baptist church. After noticing a gaping lack of youth ministry programs in Baptist churches across Lebanon, he asked himself why the churches were losing their youth and young adults? He realized that the loss was due to the fact that churches had no vision for youth ministry and suffered from a lack of laborers, and that pastors had no time to dedicate themselves to teaching the youth. He decided that something needed to be done to strengthen youth ministry within Lebanese churches. Thanks to the assistance of the German Baptist Union, he was able to leave his full-time job at the bank and devote himself entirely to full-time ministry.
Feeling strongly that Jesus was telling him, “Feed my sheep”, he realized that he needed to teach the good news to all of God’s people, regardless of where they came from. In return, God gave Pastor Kazzi a remarkable gift to communicate with people of all ages, especially children. Although he has never been officially trained in children’s or youth ministry and often doesn’t know what exactly he will say before he gets up to teach, God fills him with His Holy Spirit and gives him the words to say in a way that always touches people’s hearts. His calling from the Lord compels him on–every time he has ever thought about quitting, he was convicted in his heart that he could not stop until the Lord told him to do so.
As the youth pastor of BCYM, Pastor Kazzi leads the spiritual aspect of the ministry, providing teaching and leading Bible studies. He makes weekly visits to families, churches, and pastors and develops connections with other Christian denominations. In addition, he has a master’s degree in Biblical Counseling and often mentors ABTS students who feel a calling to become pastors. Pastor Kazzi’s heart is to see the children and youth ministry continue to grow and expand and he prays earnestly for the Lord to send more laborers into the harvest fields.