Q&A with Joivan Jimenez

Q&A with Joivan Jimenez


Joivan is a singer-songwriter and actor born in Panama City, Panama. He serves as Spanish Ministry Director and Worship Leader at Meadowbrook Church in Ocala, Florida, and worked as a student pastor for more than 15 years. Joivan is a 2017 Dove Awards nominee for his single “Generación de Fuego,” nominated as Spanish Recorded Song of the Year. He enjoys cooking, watching movies and traveling with his wife, Lucianne, and their three children, Yessaira, Joilianne and Joivan Alexander. He is proud to hold both Panamanian and American citizenship, and is a voice for a comprehensive immigration reform in the United States.

Q: You have expressed special concern about young men leaving the church and the faith as they become adults. What are some ways the Christian community can help young men stay faithful? 01

I was shocked when I first read about the severe drop-off in young men compared to young women, but then I thought more about it and— yeah, that’s right. We are losing young men.

First, we’ve got to give guys opportunities to dig in and open up, to ask questions without fear of being shut down. I think gender-specific small groups should be part of the equation, to help keep focus on what matters. It’s hard to show off and be real at the same time.

Second, I think sometimes male leaders are especially hard on young men because we know what it’s like. We put so much pressure on them not to make mistakes, to walk perfect. And they feel guilty just for being male, for experiencing the temptations that are normal for young men their age. But they need to know God loves them. He is not condemning them. His Spirit can give them power to keep walking, even when their walk is not perfect.

Third, we’ve got to open more doors to ministry. When I was coming up, there was a huge push for young men to pursue a ministry calling. Ministry was exciting! We were called by God to change the world! But to us, “ministry” was “pulpit ministry”—you were only called if you were called to preach in church. But ministry is way beyond the pulpit. Kids can be called into ministry in the arts, in sports, in cooking, in science, whatever. Ministry is still exciting! But we’ve got to open the doors for young men (and young ladies, too) to pursue a higher calling.

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