Summer Missionary 2023

Kyler Seyfried

Where do you currently attend school? Hannibal LaGrange University in Hannibal
Where are you serving this summer, and who is your mentor?
Prince Avenue Baptist Church in Hannibal, MO, with Joe Thrower
How did you first encounter Jesus Christ, and how has His lordship continued to change your life?
While I had been introduced to a thin, surface-level version of Christ at a young age, I did not come to Him as Lord and Savior until I was 17 years old. I began dating a girl who convinced me to attend church with her and her family, and I did (begrudgingly). Over the course of about six months, the Lord used the preaching of His word and the witness of my girlfriend’s family to reveal Himself to me. The change that has occurred in my life since that day in 2019 has been nothing short of drastic. Before I gave my life to Christ, I was a partier, drinker, smoker, curser, and chewer of tobacco. I was an angry kid, and I was disrespectful to just about everyone that I knew. However, now I have no desire to drink, smoke, chew, cuss, or party in that sense at all. The Lord has grown my heart to love people and demonstrated to me that I am an extrovert who loves to interact with people. It was through this love of people that the Lord showed me that He was calling me into some type of ministry. He has demonstrated that I have a talent, however raw it may be at this current time, for teaching others and leading others to Him. Through prayer and the encouragement of others, I recognized that it is pastoral ministry that the Lord is calling me to. It is my deepest desire to know the Lord and to make Him known, both to those immediately around me as well as the others I come into contact with. Even now, He is teaching me how to deal with life as a whole with Him at the center. The anxiety and the depression that I battle in various seasons of my life, He is continuing to demonstrate that He is enough for me in those moments. He is also demonstrating that He has a plan for my life and is calling me to faithfully follow Him, even when I do not understand why I am on the road that I am. He has used so many people in my life to help me grow and provided many more in my life for me to help grow. I look forward longingly to His continual presence in my life as well as His return.
What does the church mean to you?
The church at its most basic level is a group of believers who come together as a family to worship, serve, and grow in the Lord as one body. As a body, there are various appendages that have different roles in the body; however, each member of the body, though different, has the same level of importance to the overall function of the body. It is the role of the body to faithfully serve the Head, who is Christ, by faithfully administering to the rest of the body. A healthy church is filled with faithful believers who desire to serve the other members of the church by encouraging one another in Him and helping to disciple each other to conform to the image of Christ. It is also the goal of the church to share the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the dark world that we are sojourners in. Our mission is to help lead the lost sheep to their ultimate Shepherd in Christ, so that they may find salvation from their sin in His sacrifice and resurrection by His grace alone.
As a student, how have you shared – and are currently sharing – your faith with others?
So far in my life, my primary mission field has been my own family. Outside of my grandmother, I am the only believer in my immediate family. All three of my siblings are agnostic/atheist. My mother is questionably Christian, however she has not demonstrated any evidence of the indwelling Holy Spirit. My uncles/grandfather seem to have more of a faith in their tradition rather than in the person of Jesus Christ. So, when I am at home, I attempt to take every opportunity that arises to speak about spiritual matters with my siblings such as God’s existence, the reliability of the Bible, our evident depravity shown in the world, and our need for a Savior. With my mom, my evangelism is dealing with the problem of evil, God’s faithfulness in tragic moments, sharing how the Lord has helped me cope with anxiety and depression, the benefit of being a part of a local church, and so on. When dealing with my uncles/grandfather, it is wrestling with the role of tradition in faith and helping tear down the false ideas about the gospel that they received from their respective upbringings. Since I’ve been at HLGU, I’ve had some awesome encounters with people wrestling with the Lord and though I’ve never had someone confess faith in Christ in my presence, I have had people who I had a dialogue with give their lives to Him in another setting.
What do you feel is your vocational call (future career), and how do you anticipate sharing your faith through that call?
I believe that the Lord has called me to pastoral ministry. So much of the job description is about sharing the gospel with my own congregation as well as creating ministries that share the gospel with those in the community. I pray that the Lord uses the story of His powerful work in my life to help me lead others closer to Him.
Why do you want to be a summer missionary?
While many people when thinking about missions think about overseas missions, missions can take place in any setting. Missions, at its basic level, are believers fulfilling the Great Commission to create disciples, baptizing them, and teaching them about Christ’s commandments. I think of missions as believers taking the gospel to those who do not know Christ, sharing the message of His grace with them, and attempting lead them to lives under His Lordship. The reasons for me wanting to be a summer missionary is primarily because I feel as if the Lord is calling me to this position for this particular summer. Other reasons include a desire to grow in my reliance on the Lord, to gain leadership skills that will be beneficial in the future, to serve the Lord faithfully, and to share the grace of God with others.