Graham Hayes joined Thrive’s team in late June as our Training and Development Manager. We took some time to ask him some questions about himself so that we can all get to know him.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I am married to Rebekah and we have two wonderful daughters, Alice, 19 and Elizabeth, 15. Alice is about to enter her second year of university study at Warwick while Lizzie is entering year eleven at school. Rebekah and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary on 15th August this year!
We live in Eastern Green which is located on the west side of city of Coventry. Rebekah, Lizzie and I go to Meredith Road Baptist Church while Alice is actively involved at Vineyard Church, Coventry.
I have recently completed my studies in Applied Theology at Moorlands Bible College. As part of the applied element of the course I was able to spend almost 3 years with Coventry Youth for Christ (CYfC). The most exciting part of my role was meeting Church Leaders and Youth Ministers who were passionate about meeting the needs of young people today. It was through my work with CYfC that I came into contact with Thrive Youth Ministries and Andy Castle.
A verse that resonates with me is Isaiah 44:6… “This is what the Lord says, Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty, I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God”.
One of my favourite songs is ‘This I Believe (The Creed)’, and I love the words of the chorus, I believe in God the Father, I believe in Christ the Son, I believe in the Holy Spirit…
My favourite Skit Guys video clip is ‘The Chisel’, because my hope and prayer is that many will be transformed into His masterpiece. It would be amazing if I could in some way be part of enabling others to be transformed into His masterpiece.
What brings you to Thrive?
I came into contact with Thrive initially through my work with CYfC. It was exciting to meet and chat with Andy and to come to understand the vision and passion he has for the ministry of Thrive and youth ministry in and around the Leamington area. Andy mentored me through my final year at Moorlands during which my desire to support the ministry of Thrive grew. I am now in a position whereby I am able to be part of Thrive’s ministry and it is my hope that in some small way that I will be able to make a difference.
What is your role at Thrive and what will you be doing?
My role has the title of ‘Training Development Manager’ which in a nutshell will involve me journeying alongside churches, church leaders and youth ministers as they seek to grow their ministry. The primary tasks will incorporate supporting churches as they take on placement trainee youth ministers and supporting people in short term placements within Thrive as they seek to explore God’s calling on their lives.
What am I most looking forward to?
Working within the Thrive team; Being part of Thrive’s ministry and seeing lives impacted as Christ moves in and through His people, His Church.
Continuing to meet with church leaders and youth ministers that are excited and passionate about meeting the needs of young people.
Seeing God build a thriving youth ministry in His Church; Seeing Him raise up youth ministers that impact the lives of young people through the Gospel of Christ; seeing young people grow in Christ, become disciples who go on to be disciple makers.
How did you come to know Jesus as your saviour?
My Dad insisted that we, that is, my brother and two sisters went to church, so we did. I was ten at the time and thought no more of it. The church had an amazing number of children and young people at the time and they were very active in what they did for the youth. I had the opportunity to attend a youth weekend away in Daventry. The speaker was Ivor Powell and I remember being invited to give my life to Christ. During the weekend I knelt alongside Colin Tipson and gave my life to Christ. Colin would remain a friend for many years to come.
What do you like to do to relax?
One way that enjoy relaxing is by simply being with family. Family time can involve eating out, going to the pictures, chilling in front of the TV or just going for a walking in the local neighbourhood.
I love the outdoors and, to relax, I try to escape to the peak district once a month for a good stretch of the legs with my childhood friend, Melvyn.
I am involved in scouting with the 62nd Scout Group in Coventry, where I am an assistant scout leader. I enjoy getting alongside the young people and building relationships and passing on my skills.
What can we pray for you in these first few months?
Please pray for us as a family, for Lizzie as she goes into her final GCSE year that culminates in a crazy number of exams; for Alice as she goes through her second year at uni and becomes more involved in the CU; for Rebekah as she continues in her role as a Deputy Headteacher in an incredibly demanding and stretched education system, also pray for her in her new role as a Thrive trustee; for myself, please pray for my role within Thrive, and also for what the rest of the working week ought to look like as I seek to balance my voluntary work (two days per week) with the need to support my family.