Youth Ministries Calls Adam McCarlson
Tuesday, June 15, 2023

The AFLC Youth Board has called Adam McCarlson to serve as the Director of Youth Ministries. In a May 30, 2023 meeting, called for that purpose, the Board voted unanimously to extend the call McCarlson, who has accepted. McCarlson, a current student at the Free Lutheran Seminary and a veteran youth leader, will step into his new role July 1. 

“I’m excited to walk alongside AFLC congregations, youth workers, parents, and pastors as they strive to pass on their confession of faith to the teens in their midst and welcome them to be part of their local congregation,” said McCarlson. 

McCarlson served at Abiding Savior Free Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls, SD as Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries from 2011–2018. He has been involved in numerous ministries and youth events over the years, including Pickerel Lake Lutheran Bible Camp, the FLY Convention, FLY Beyond, Youth Workers’ Weekends, and various South Dakota district youth events. He is vacating his position on the AFLC Youth Board this summer after one term. Adam—along with his wife of 15 years, Emily, and their five children—moved to Plymouth, MN in September 2022 so he could enroll at the Free Lutheran Seminary, where he will continue his training. 

The Youth Board acknowledges the uniqueness of calling a seminary student to this position. “We are confident that, by God’s grace, Adam will be able to balance his time and energies between his family, seminary studies, and the duties and responsibilities of serving as Director,” said Rev Ryan Tonneson, Youth Board Chairman. “There’s also precedent for allowing directors some time to pursue continuing education. We see Adam’s enrollment in Seminary as just that.”

The Youth Board began the search process in December, after Rev Dr Jason Holt stepped down to serve as Presidential Ministry Associate. “We are grateful to Jason for his sixteen years of faithful, humble leadership of Youth Ministries,” said Wendy Greven, a member of the Youth Board.

In February, the search for a director began by asking the AFLC for recommendations for the position. Tonneson reports that there were 11 unique names among 30 recommendations. The Youth Board invited the four most often recommended individuals to apply for the open position. After an initial questionnaire, these individuals were interviewed online. Then two of them were interviewed in-person. 

The Youth Board thanks the congregations and individuals of the AFLC for joining with them in prayer as they searched for a director. “This task is never an easy one for any board, but we are confident in the Lord’s leading and guiding, and are thankful to you, the broader AFLC, for upholding us in this time. ” Tonneson said. “Continue to pray for our Director!”