Indianapolis, January 20, 2021, ZEXPRWIRE,
It’s an honor to speak with you today. Why don’t you give us some details about you and your story. How did you get to where you are today?
My name is Kenneth Sullivan, Jr. and I serve as the Senior Pastor of New Direction Church of Indianapolis. I’m a devoted husband, loving father, published author, business owner, civic leader, and educator. As the Senior Pastor of New Direction Church, I have made it my priority to pour into the lives of youth in the city of Indianapolis. I earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Crossroads Bible College. I also hold a Masters Of Arts Degree in Christian Leadership from Indiana Wesleyan University. I recently released my 2nd book “Love & Verses,” which teaches people how to build healthy and strong marriages and relationships using proven biblical methods. Additionally, I developed a separate 501c3 organization entitled S.A.V.E.S. This organization is strictly geared towards developing programs, camps, events, and scholarship opportunities that help to reduce violence and crime in our surrounding communities and give our youth and their families alternatives to help them grow, learn, and succeed.
Let’s talk about the work you do. What do you specialize in and why should someone work with you over the competition?
As a community leader, I serve on several advisory boards and support initiatives focused on economic empowerment, community engagement and youth development. With the vast number of challenges and issues that confront our society today, my mission is to motivate, re-direct, and lead people in the right direction. I take pride in being the senior pastor of the New Direction Church, which is in Indianapolis. We have two campuses. Our main campus is located at 5330 East 38th Street 46218 and our 2nd physical campus is located at 7701 East 86th Street 46256. We have a weekly attendance of 750 -800 people. Our church is unique in that we operate businesses at both of our campuses. At our East campus we operate a barber shop and beauty salon and a daycare called “Little Duckling Daycare” # 1, which serves 120 children. In addition, we operate “Little Duckling Daycare” # 2, which provides childcare for 35 families. Our church employs nearly 60 people including our various sub-contractors for maintenance and lawn care. We offer a host of ministries that minister to the whole person and entire families. Our mission is to lead people to a better life. It’s our mission to be a spiritual empowerment and social economic empowerment center. Our church operates 7 days a week and it’s our goal to continue to use every square inch of our facilities to operate programs for our congregation as well as our community.
Do you use technology and social media to promote your ministry or church?
Yes! Technology is a very important part of our ministry. We focus on social media to reach the masses. In fact, each week we have people from all over the globe tune into our broadcast. Social media and the Internet in general allow us to be able to reach people we would never be able to reach otherwise. Each day myself and the church post messages and motivational clips to encourage people and to teach them. In fact, we do a lot of promotions on Instagram to other parts of the world. Many of those people have become a part of our church and faith community.
What’s your best piece of advice for readers who desire to find success in their life?
I would advise them to read Philippians 4:6-7 of the Bible. – “Be anxious for nothing but in everything with prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your heart and mind.” All of us will be faced with anxiety and stress that attempt to pull us apart. But instead of being pulled apart we should determine to pray. When we put our problems in God’s hand God will put his peace in our heart. I would encourage everyone who has lost hope to continue to hold on and trust God for a brighter day. The rainbow comes after the rain and sometimes we have to go through storms and rain before we can see the rainbow; but the sun will shine again.
Speaking of success, what does the word mean to you?
Success isn’t about how much money you make. It’s about the difference you make in people’s lives. And I strive to make a difference. Our church happens to be in an area that is considered to be a food desert. There are not a lot of grocery stores within 5 miles in any direction. This leaves a lot of people with few food options, especially those who don’t have adequate transportation. As a result, our church started a food pantry called “The Masters Table.” Each month we serve on average about 200 families in our community. Our city along with other cities had to undergo a mandatory shut down. We knew that this would create more challenges for the families in our community. So, our church stepped up our efforts and opened our food pantry every week instead of every month. We asked members to give even more so that we could feed the people. Our volunteers stepped up their efforts as well and began to sacrifice and serve week in and week out for about 10 weeks straight at the height of the epidemic. Eventually we went back to once a month. In December of 2020 we were awarded a $75,000 grant from Lilly’s Endowment to continue our work and we were recognized by one of our local news outlets for our service to our community. That is success to me.
What’s next for you?
I plan on growing the ministry even bigger and helping other Christian pastors reach out more to the youth. I believe that pastors must come out of their buildings and out of their silos and mix it up a little bit more. The scripture says that we are the light of the world and salt of the earth. Salt has to get out of the shaker in order to season things. So too must pastors get out of the building and shake things up. They should shake the hands of their neighbors. In fact, when we look at Jesus, the majority of his work was done outside of a church building and often away from religious people. I plan on continuing to model that type of ministry. I will continue to be the air traffic controller, so to speak, to help young people lift off and take flight. I believe that pastors should see their churches as run ways and they should work to help young people find and fulfill their purpose in life. This involves learning the language of the youth and how to best listen to them and relate to them in order to advise and direct them.
Finally, how can people connect with you if they want to learn more?
(Interview courtesy of Jesse Atkinson, CEO of Urban Threshold PR.)
Pastoring During a Pandemic – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfdYPsNawGo