Being a pastor wasn’t Adam Weber’s idea.
“I was unsure if I could be a pastor because I’m not all calm and relaxed and I don’t sit beside still waters,” Adam said. “I’m not pastor-ish enough.”
But at 21, Adam clearly felt God’s call to be a pastor while filling the pulpit for a friend and mentor. At that time, he had plans to serve Jesus through business and generosity. However, he loved sharing the Gospel, and God called him to share the most important thing in his life with as many people as possible.
“Who doesn’t need to be saved from their worry, sin, their mistakes, their past and their brokenness?” Adam said. “Our world is crying out for a Savior. I don’t have to be in control because God is. I need someone who says, ‘Here’s the path, Adam. Stay close to me, and we’ll figure it out.’”
Today Adam pastors Embrace Church in Sioux Falls, S.D. In 2013, Outreach Magazine named it the 40th fastest growing U.S. church and the only United Methodist Church to be mentioned.
“The key to our growth is telling people about Jesus in a way that they can understand,” Adam said. “That’s it.”
When Adam first became the pastor of Embrace, the church met on Sunday nights and struggled to stay above 100. The district superintendent spoke the words, “Grow or you will have to be either moved or the church closed”.
“The first three years were the hardest years of my life,” Adam said. “But I saw God’s faithfulness through it all.”
By using unconventional methods, such as inviting donkeys into the churchyard at Easter and Christmas, Embrace tells people about Jesus in unique ways. Today, it has six campuses, five physical campuses and one online. The church also offers a variety of small groups and children and youth outreaches to engage all ages.