Q&A with Rachel Alcocer
Membership Type: Associate
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I have been a youth minister for 4 years, but I have been volunteering in ministry since I was a junior in High School. I grew up in Katy, Texas, and in a single parent household. My mother was a true inspiration to me growing up and without her support I wouldn’t be pursuing ministry. With her support and encouragement, I attended St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, TX. “Go Rattlers!”
How has being a member of NFCYM helped you and your ministry to young people?
Being a member of NFCYM has helped me in my ministry by providing the opportunity to collaborate with other youth ministers on a national level. It has truly helped me see that no matter what part of the country we are in, we all have similar struggles. It’s great to know that we can over come our struggles together, and create disciples of Jesus Christ, one teen at a time.
What is your relationship with NFCYM? What does accompaniment mean to you and how has NFCYM accompanied you?
I am proud to say that I am the Region 10 Associate Member Representative. Accompaniment to me means being able to see the needs of those who you serve and not just offer them up in prayer but truly, and authentically walk with them on their journey of faith. NFCYM has accompanied me by providing great people to reach out to whom I can collaborate with and show my authentic self.
Why ministry? Why do you do what you do?
Ministry is a great way for me to personally reach out to those who truly want to live their faith contrary to those who want to just learn about it. I serve as a Youth Minister because I am inspired every day by the questions, lived faith, and community that I see from the young church. It’s an honor to walk with young people and be authentically myself. That will always be enough!
What are some unique ways you have ministered and accompanied through these times?
I created and delivered small care packages with a small note of encouragement for my young people and core team at the beginning of the pandemic. Also, I provided a safe space for my young people to discuss issues of race and civil unrest in a judgment free zone.
If you could share one thing with other ministers, parents, families, and clergy, that you have learned throughout your experience ministering what would it be?
I would say that it is important to never forget to be authentically who you are. You’ll notice a change in your ministry if you continue to be true to who you are. Don’t be afraid to talk about challenging topics that you tend to shy away from. I can honestly say that when you have those challenging conversations it will be the best thing for your ministry and your young people.
NFCYM members can ask me about…
Burnout and how to overcome it. I am also here to lend an ear to whatever you might be going through or as a sounding board. No matter what you’ve gone through, I probably have been right where you are and am willing to just listen and help you however I can!
Anything else you want to mention?
I cannot express how much I love working in ministry. It truly has opened my eyes to the dedication it takes to truly have an amazing and authentic ministry with young people. The first step is remembering that we are not alone; there is a community around you who understands what you are going through. Never be afraid to reach out and ask for help or prayers when you need it!