New rec director: Building body and faith through sports
From playing four years of varsity soccer and basketball in high school, Jason Shuler learned how to make God — and faith — an integral part of the game and saw the way it helped develop men and women of character.
As Triad’s new part-time recreation director, Shuler hopes to give many more people that same experience through Upward football, basketball and cheerleading and sports ministry.
“My goal for the Rec Ministry is to continue seeing kids engaged in sports but with a spiritual focus,” Shuler said. “I would love to see more kids and families in the community reached for Christ as a result of Upward sports.
“This ministry is important and differs from other recreational activities within the community because of its Christ-centered and family-focused nature,” he said. “Our objective will be to reach kids and families through TBC and use the avenue of sports.
“I’ve always loved sports and the Rec Ministry seems like a great fit for me.”
Shuler began work Aug. 1 at Triad, filling one of three new temporary positions created by Pastor Rob Decker to support the church’s ministries after the departure in July of Radiate high school ministry and former Connect Groups Pastor Jared Hoots.
Middle school pastor Toby Pegram had led recreation ministry before Shuler under Triad’s staff model where each member serves in another ministry that accounts for 30 percent of their service. With Hoots leaving Triad to become a student at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary to prepare for a call for adult ministry, Pegram has temporarily assumed the leadership of both middle- and high-school student ministries.
Along with Shuler, the other new part-time staffers that joined Triad’s team this summer are: Adam Wingate, head of the new Triad Baptist Church Leadership Institute (the new name for the church’s partnership with Piedmont International University in its E-412 master of arts degree program, and Triad’s Saturday Bible Institute); and Rick Reynolds, the new head of the church’s Connect Groups small-group ministry. All three report to Decker.
Eight years of ministry
After graduating from Gospel Light Christian School in 2005, Shuler earned a bachelor of arts degree in religious studies from West Coast Baptist College in Lancaster, Calif, in 2009.
He and his wife, Desiree, married that same year. Over the next eight years, Shuler served as an associate pastor, youth pastor, and children’s pastor at churches in Oklahoma and Colorado.
Shuler returned to his hometown of Kernersville in October 2016 to be closer to his family and to seek more adult ministry opportunities. He and Desiree started visiting Triad in December 2016 and joined the church in March 2017 after completing the First Step membership class.
They have two children — Ethan, 4, and Zoe, 2.
“We decided to join Triad because it has a vibrant children’s ministry for our kids to enjoy, we enjoyed the preaching and teaching of Pastor Rob, and because we felt Triad offered the greatest potential for us to serve and grow as a family,” said Shuler, who will help lead the 5:30 p.m. Sunday evening worship service resuming Sept. 10.
Even before joining the church’s paid staff on a part-time basis, Shuler has been active in ministry. This March, he and Desiree launched the new “Homebuilders” Sunday School class for young couples and young families. The class meets weekly on Sundays during Triad’s 10:30 a.m. traditional worship service and Sunday School hour.
As for the future, Shuler said, “I plan to continue my education and perhaps serve as a pastor at some point in the future.”