CO-CAMPUS PASTOR AT
JOURNEY CHURCH BEACH PARK
"Jay English is leading the way in connecting passionate people who are ready to solve the unique challenges of urban youth ministry."
As a Fuel Network Area Director, Jay has spent the last three years collaborating with and connecting training, resources, coaching, and marketing support to youth leaders throughout Milwaukee and Northern Illinois.
It was Jay English’s bright and bold personality, boisterous laugh, and deep desire to serve both the youth and youth workers of Milwaukee, Wisconsin that sparked the connection between Jay and Tommy Nixon, CEO of UYWI.
Jay met Tommy while serving as Associate Pastor at Parklawn Assembly of God in Milwaukee. Jay was committed to engaging the needs of his church, however he felt a gap between his ministry and his passion for the city’s youth. It was the murder of George Floyd that prompted Jay to lean into the gap and seek a way to fill it.
Jay grew up in a black and hispanic neighborhood in Waukegan, Illinois and began serving in Milwaukee in 2014. Milwaukee is one of the most segregated cities in the nation, holds the highest gap in education between urban and suburban areas, and contains the highest incarcerated population in the state. These dynamics shaped Jay as a child, and continue to drive the heart of his work today.
As Jay shared his vision with Tommy on how to engage and resource the church in being a leading force behind societal change, a partnership was born. Jay was invited to become the Area Director for UYWI’s Fuel Network, a community forum that brings together passionate people who are ready to solve the unique challenges of urban youth ministry.
Whether it’s grabbing his camera and using his time and talents to shoot footage at a local church youth event, or connecting a small nonprofit with volunteers, Jay and his network of leaders stand ready to invest in those serving the youth of their community.
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"Jay English is leading the way in connecting passionate people who are ready to solve the unique challenges of urban youth ministry. As an Area Director for the UYWI Fuel Network in Milwaukee and Northern Illinois, Jay works to build bridges between ministries, churches, and urban youth to share resources, training, people-power, support, coaching, and encouragement. Whether it’s connecting nonprofits with volunteers or expert perspectives or aiding in supplying program needs, Jay and his network of leaders stand ready to invest in those serving the youth of their community."
One of Jay’s partner ministries, My Father’s Business (MFB), is a perfect example of this model. MFB gives at-risk youth a safe place to hang out every Friday evening to play basketball, enjoy a warm meal, or even get a haircut. Each week the founder, Matt Thorton, pauses the fun for a “half-time” message that he prays plants seeds in young people to save lives and change eternities. As a member of the UYWI Fuel Network, Jay was able to host a pizza party for MFB, and used the Fuel Network to connect the ministry with new volunteers. For Jay, these simple acts are not about accolades or honor, because as he shared, “I honestly don’t really care who gets the credit, we just want to see Jesus being glorified, and people learning about him and being loved on well.” Jay desires for the Fuel Network to serve as a wind in the sails of each partner ministry. While partner ministries and churches set the course, and have their own vision and mission, the Fuel Network exists to come alongside and serve to aid in the journey.
Jay hopes to continue expanding the Fuel Network in his region, providing resources, and fostering connections. However, at the end of the day, Jay knows that while his team can provide support the only thing that changes hearts is the power of God.
"Real lasting change comes through the power of Christ”
Jay hopes young people know that he is committed to imagining new ways to engage the youth of this generation, and really “rocks with people who think outside of the box.” Discovering new and creative ways to bridge gaps economically, emotionally, and spiritually is important to Jay and the Fuel Network family, because as Jay shared, “I don’t believe Jesus exists inside any box.”
Those interested in joining the network to connect with other ministries and share resources can rest assured that their commitment will not include an abundance of meetings and task lists. Instead, Jay fosters a community of fun, connection, idea generation, and relationship building. To be a part of the Fuel Network is to be a part of an extended family. A family that is for the work, does the work, and supports the work of fostering flourishing communities for the youth of our city.
To learn more about the Fuel Network and to join, please visit Fuel Network.
I honestly don’t really care who gets the credit, we just want to see Jesus being glorified, and people learning about him, and being loved on well.
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this next generation not only hears the Gospel but sees it lived out.