I. David Byrd

David is an ordained minister who  has been blessed to bring the corporate trainings, execution and experiences alongside the ministerial calling, theological trainings and experiences into a union of  ministry and administration. He is a past Director of Student Ministries at the 15,000 member Apostolic Church of God. He lead 40 ministries, coalescing 700 volunteers serving 2,500 youth.  He led the staff and volunteers in developing holistic spiritual, educational and social programs to help young people develop resiliency in school, church and their community.

David is a noted preacher, teacher, mentor, coach and workshop facilitator for youth, youth workers and parents across the country. His ministry and teaching has  impacted lives across denominational, generational and cultural boundaries. David’s research and ministry practice focuses on the effects of cultural practices and norms on the  identity development of adolescent from differing social locations.

 David has over 30 years of corporate experience converting strategy into effective execution to achieve operational excellence in the private, public-adjacent, non-profit and social enterprise sectors. David has held leadership positions in organizations from the Fortune 50 to small start-ups.  A metrics-oriented servant-leader who facilitates transformation by managing and empowering team members to deliver superior performance with distinctive long-term impact.

Educationally, David holds Masters from Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business in Pittsburgh and McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago.  His undergraduate degree in computer Science and Business Management is from the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio. David is a 2018 Doctorate of Divinity candidate at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago.

David currently serves on the boards of the National Network of Youth Ministry (NNYM) and Cabrini Green Legal Aid (CGLA).  David is married to his best friend, Monique.

DIGGING DEEPER

The consistency of my basic religious convictions throughout my life suggests that my calling to ministry was a refinement of preexisting religious attitudes.  Like Timothy, the Apostolic faith has been something that I grew up in.  My call to the ministry, came later in life rather than as a college choice.  I have lived a successful corporate career and was blessed to take a sabbatical from corporate American to serve young people and those that lead them.   The Lord allowed my passion to become my vocation.  I bring a perspective that in some ways is unique to the conversation as I come from first, over 30 plus years of corporate leadership experience in Fortune 100 and entrepreneurial companies.  Second, I have an overlapping 20 plus years of Christian leadership in mega, small church  and para-church environments. Third, I have completed biblical and theological training through both seminary and systematic ministry training. I have been blessed to be able to bring the corporate trainings, execution and experiences alongside the ministerial calling, theological trainings and experiences into a union of church ministry, administration and service to young people..

Over this time period I have experienced a significant amount of the good, the bad and the ugly of leadership in Christian and in secular settings.   I have witnessed visionary leadership of staff and volunteers and I have witnessed a lack of leadership that led to everyone not being on the same page.  I seen goals achieved and exceeded and I’ve seen goals severely missed.  I’ve seen the charismatic leaders, I’ve seen the quiet behind the scenes leader and I’ve seen the individualist leaders who are about themselves and not those they serve.  I have seen the effect of operating out of passion and purpose, the good that come from a focus on true servant leadership.  I have also seen the self serving focus on power, position and prestige. Time has allowed me to see the good and bad of my own decisions.  To be surrounded by mentors that helped “walk me off the ledge” in times of my challenge.  And I have had the opportunity to mentor other leaders through their process.

I am most proud of the young people who I have had the honor of pouring into and pulling out the best of them.  Providing biblical guidance as they walk this life journey.  Teaching them who Jesus is and why He is so important to their future. Making His principles and precepts relevant and relational in their day-to-day situations.  Being there for them when, not if, tough times come.  Teaching them to think through the process rather than telling them what to do.  So when they are faced with a decision and we are not there they can think through the process.  Correctly applying Biblical principles to their decision process.  And when they make wrong choices, helping them evaluate the consequences of the choices they have made.

The last 20 – 25  years I have been experiencing the results of the significant, ongoing mentoring relationships with young people who are now young adults and adults.  God has blessed me to see how they approach situations using discernment and applying biblical principles to their thought process.  I am truly humbled when the phone rings or I meet with one of them locally and we walk through a situation or scenario before they make a decision.  As I listen to their maturity in evaluating the consequences of the decision they can make.  Some who were like the sugar cane that shows no fruit for several years and then all of a sudden grows six feet in a matter of days.  Lord, we thank you for the mind to keep planting and watering for it is you who give the increase.  I am truly encouraged by this to keep interceding for this current younger generation.  For they too one day will be the young adults calling back for “real talk”.

And to those who labor with me in the vineyard of urban youth ministry – “Stay upon the wall, don’t come down.  We’ve got too much work to do, no time to turn around.”