November 2015

In the first of what I hope will be a new series here at Ten Years Young, I’m pleased to present an interview with Dan Herod, Youth Alive director for the Wisconsin & Northern Michigan district of the Assemblies of God. I’d like to thank Dan for taking time out of his schedule to share with me and all of you who are reading.

Tell us who you are, and a little bit about yourself.

My name is Dan Herod and I am the Youth Alive Director for Wisconsin and Northern Michigan. For over twelve years I have dedicated my life to helping students discover the Gospel personally and share it liberally; five of those years have been dedicated to Youth Alive. I am happily married to my amazing wife of 13 years, Marlena, and we have three great kids. When I am not directing Youth Alive you will find me with my family, exercising, serving on my local volunteer fire department, and doing the things that bring me life.

What motivates you?
Seeing God do big things and doing life with others.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

Joe and Laurie Gordon. They are missionaries who embody the discipleship ethos that I want to see more of in my life.

What is the biggest challenge you face?

Getting out of my own way and keeping God in my way.

What is the toughest lesson you’ve learned?

Life is not fair, so it is actually unfair to myself to expect life to be fair. Instead of worshipping at the altar of my limited understanding, I choose to make a daily effort to trust God with all of my heart. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Looking back over your education and career, if you had it to do over again, what, if anything, would you change or do differently?

I wouldn’t change a thing. I am grateful for God’s faithfulness in every decision I have ever made. Even if I missed His specific will in a decision, He remains faithful to accomplish His plan through me.

What do you find most rewarding about your ministry?

Seeing lives changed. No one does that better than God. It is fuel for my fire.

How do you maintain work/life balance?

Balance is a myth. Typically, when people say they want balance in their life, they really want to be more comfortable. I have learned that my comfort level in life and my effectiveness in life are not the same thing. There are times when they are diametrically opposed to one another! Instead of striving for balance, I endeavor to be faithful in every season. Some seasons require more of my time and other seasons allow me to rest more. My goal is to remain healthy in every area of my life, and have a good time along the way.

Is there anything you’ve done in your ministry career that you’ll never do again?

It is far too easy to compare my “blooper reel” to the seemingly perfect “highlight reels” of other ministry leaders. I am done worrying about how I stack up against others. I now focus on being faithful in every area of my life and trust God to assess my efforts accurately.

For the last question, I want to open it up to you to say whatever you’d like to say to the readers.

Keep it simple. Love God with every part of who you are, and hold nothing back. Love others the way you want them to love you. If you do these two things, you are going to be all right.


I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about calling, direction, and purpose, and specifically wrestling with the question of what I’m doing with my own life, and what God is calling me to do, for about a year. I’ve gone through a process of praying about it, and asking God to speak. This past weekend, He did.

I was at the Wisconsin/Northern Michigan Youth Convention this past weekend, which is always one of the highlights of my year. Sunday morning, during our last service of the weekend, I felt God speak to me. He didn’t give me the whole path that I’ll be walking (lest I make a mess of things), but He did tell me that while there’s nothing wrong with the work I’m doing now, it’s not where I’m meant to stay. It’s not much, but it’s the word I was waiting and seeking for.

I shared this with the youth pastor I serve under (who is also a close friend, who’s been walking with me through this process), and to be honest, that was a scary thing to do. Now it’s not just something the Lord told me; now, I’ve put it into words, shared it with someone else, and in the process, made it real. It’s still in the beginning stages, but I can’t ignore it anymore, or write it off.

When you have an idea, a dream, or a calling, telling someone else about it is difficult and scary, but also necessary. Now, it’s not just an idea or a dream. Now, it’s got legs to stand on. Now, someone else can hold you accountable, pray for you, encourage you, and, when you need it, they can give you a push.

Whatever it is God is doing in your life, don’t keep it to yourself. Share it with someone.