Sometimes, we may wonder how our campus pastors began their path of ministry. What led them to becoming our campus pastors? How did they make it to the stage?
Richardson Campus Pastor Michael Yeilding revealed more than how he was called to ministry. He revealed his unique life story that put him on a path of transformation, which led to him leading a new Chase Oaks campus.
Growing up in Sherman, Texas, Michael Yeilding spent much of his time playing in the creek that ran behind his backyard. Since he was homeschooled, Michael had plenty of time to build forts and “irrigation systems” and dress in camo and participate in “convoy rescue missions.” He was an imaginative child enjoying a simple life in his backyard. Reminiscing about his childhood, Michael admits he misses those simpler times in Sherman, especially as he is currently surrounded by the “constant urban jungle.”
During the summer of his eighth grade year, he worked his first job at the Sherman Public Library. The job was more of an unpaid internship during which he learned the valuable lessons about being responsible. He was given tasks that he had to figure out on his own. It was a great experience.
Working for his uncle’s landscaping crew inspired Michael to want to be in landscape and irrigation when he grew up. Part of the reason he wanted to get involved in landscaping is because he “liked the idea of creating for people what they were dreaming up for their home.” Michael realized he might not accomplish this goal when he did not have the gift of drawing and sketching plans.
Following the Call to Ministry
Being raised in a Christ-centered home, Michael placed his faith in Christ at the tender age of five. His walk with God was greatly shaped by his family’s faith, support, and love. Eventually, Michael found a place where his faith and his calling intersected on an unexpected path.
During his sophomore year in high school, Michael attended a high school mission trip to Mexico where his youth group had planned to host VBS for children and students and to set up a clinic for the parents. They were equipped to use these opportunities to talk to others about Jesus. But on the way to Mexico, the bus full of students faced severe rainstorms, delaying their trip.
Rather than continuing down the pre-planned path of reaching Mexico for its mission trip, the youth pastor and the students made the most of this unique opportunity by making a difference. They rented chainsaws and worked in groups to clear all of the storm’s damage to the city and to the back roads that affected the surrounding rural communities.
Just like their trip had taken a different turn, the youth pastor asked the students to reflect on their lives to determine their next turns. He asked them to think about what they wanted to do in life and what God wanted them to do. And he told them to think about whether those two things aligned or if there was a difference in their desires and God’s desires.
Much to Michael’s surprise, he found that what he wanted and what God wanted were two very different things. While he wanted to do landscaping and irrigation, he felt God calling him to pursue full-time ministry.
Surprised and excited, Michael told his family about his discovery, “I couldn’t believe it, but one-by-one, everyone I told when I got home said they weren’t surprised and committed to supporting me as I figured out what was next. My youth pastor was insanely generous to take me under his wing and gave me a lot of voice/responsibility, even as a student, that really gave me a hunger for student ministry.”
Faithfully, Michael walked the path that would lead to being the Richardson Campus Pastor at Chase Oaks Church. As a college student, he attended Dallas Baptist University and completed a variety of student ministry internships. He taught at a private school and became an intern at Chase Oaks. In August of 2013, he worked with Former Campus Pastor Jason Williams to serve as the part-time Legacy Campus Pastor Resident. Eventually, he would become the Student Ministry Pastor at the Woodbridge Campus, leading to the path of becoming the newest campus pastor for Chase Oaks’ Richardson Campus (launching this fall).
Settling into Family Life
While attending Dallas Baptist University, Michael met his wife, Meredith. They met in a weight training class and became really good friends. Eventually, as their friendship grew so did their feelings for one another. Their friendship developed into a relationship. On September 30, 2011, Michael and Meredith got married. Settling into a family life, Michael and Meredith are committed to raising two adorable dogs—Rudy and Jack.
When asked about his best accomplishment, Michael replied, “Oh man, the most obvious answer is getting to go way above my reach and marrying my wife. I still am blown away that I married so far up.”
Meredith has supported Michael as he successfully entered full-time ministry. She supported and encouraged him while he was the Student Ministry Pastor at the Woodbridge Campus. She will be by his side as he enters the Richardson community to fill the role of Richardson Campus Pastor.
Five Fun Facts about Richardson Campus Pastor Michael Yeilding
Here are five fun facts you should know about our new Richardson Campus Pastor.
1. First Concert
Although he admits the first concert he attended was Amy Grant (let that sink in), he says the first concert that he actually enjoyed was Coldplay with his wife while they were dating.
2. Biggest Fear
One type of pet you will not find in Michael Yeilding’s home is a snake. Once when he was visiting the Fort Worth Zoo, he was examining the snakes when his wife snuck up on him and grabbed him. It made him jump through the ceiling!
3. Best Superhero
When asked what superhero he would want to be, he picked Iron Man. Although not technically a superhero, he admires Iron Man for his intelligence and cool suits.
4. Dog Food Only
In Michael’s childhood home, there was a rule about not feeding dogs table scraps. It was understood that humans eat human food and dogs eat dog food only. One time his curiosity got the best of him, so he snuck his dog some popcorn under the table. The dog’s chewing was so loud that his parents found out, and he got in trouble. Since then, he has refrained from giving dogs human food.
5. Three Things He Loves Right Now
The three things Michael loves right now are his new sleek Anker wireless earbuds (bought on Amazon as part of their daily deals), Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee on Netflix hosted by Jerry Seinfeld, and delicious Square Organics bars at Whole Foods.
Getting Excited about Richardson
As he assembles his team for the Richardson Campus, he is excited to see how God will use the people and the campus to bring surprising grace and transformation to the surrounding community. He is especially excited to see how people will come together to make a difference in Richardson.
Discussing his excitement for the new campus, Michael said, “I love the thought of Chase Oakers getting to use and sharpen their God-given gifts and talents in order to expand the Kingdom of God, as we come as we are, get transformed, and make a difference right here in Richardson!”
If you want to join Richardson Campus Pastor Michael Yeilding in making a difference in the Richardson community, join us for the Richardson Campus Interest Meeting on Sunday, June 10, at 12:30 p.m., at our Legacy Campus. We would love to have you join our team!