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Hastings grad returns to hometown church as new youth director

Christ’s Family Church has welcomed a new youth director to its ranks, one who’s already a familiar face.

Zach Biermaier attended Christ’s Family Church while he was growing up here, ever since he was in second grade, he said. In middle school, he got involved with the church’s youth group.

“It was just so fun for me,” he said.

His youth group leaders were people who took the time to get involved with him and took interest in his activities, he explained, even taking the time to attend his sports events. Their level of concern made a big impact.

When he started considering what he wanted to study in college, his pastor, Joe Hannah, suggested looking back at the parts of his life he really enjoyed. Those moments, Biermaier said, ended up focusing around his experiences in the youth group, so he decided to pursue a degree in youth and family studies at the University of Northwestern. He graduated with his bachelor’s degree in May.

But coming back to Hastings to work — and back to his hometown church, no less — wasn’t a move Biermaier ever expected.

“I never thought I’d be coming back to Hastings,” he said.

He started applying to jobs in April, but after a few months still hadn’t gotten a position. In June, he said, he got a call from Christ’s Family Church asking how his job search was going, and then asking him to consider applying there.

“Coming back to the church I grew up in — the opportunity was too good to say no to,” he said.

He went through the application and interview process and as of Aug. 1 started working as youth director.

The job puts Biermaier in charge of a group of youth leaders and working with youth from sixth grade up through high school. Within his responsibilities are overseeing the church’s youth groups and outreach events and ensuring the church’s youth have a place where they can be themselves and grow in their faith.

Having that place is important for youth, Biermaier said, because youth in the church often feel like the Sunday morning church service isn’t for them. Youth groups, however, provide a place specifically for youth, where they can work on making their faith their own.

Biermaier said that as he takes on his new position at Christ’s Family Church, his main goals are to make sure that youth have that space and time they need to develop their faith. He also wants to develop new community outreach opportunities that can help show the community what makes Christians different in a good way.