Interview With Bo Boshers
Director of Student Ministries at Willow Creek
October 31, 2000
I got a chance to spend some time with Bo after a
presentation he did on a new training curriculum that is HOT!!! Bo has a great
heart and we can learn a lot from him. Enjoy this peek into more than just his
ministry and his passion . . . but his personal life.
JONATHAN: Bo, thanks for giving me this time to get to know you
better. To start off, how old are you and how long have you been in ministry?
Um, let's see, I've been in ministry for 23 years. I'm 47 and I've been at Willow
Creek for about 12.
JONATHAN: Awesome. Willow Creek- let's face
it- most imitated, most duplicated church in . . . probably the whole world. How
do you keep from getting a big head and going "I'm the man!"
You know what, I mean, there's no doubt, there's some exciting things going
on here at Willow Creek. It's obvious what God is doing. But I think for me
personally, uh, I just remember where I came from. I mean, sincerely, I know how
much I need God's grace and forgiveness and I'm just blown away to be a part of
this thing. You know, just every time I drive to work it's like, "God thank you
for letting me do this." I mean I love waking up to come to work. So it's just a
matter of me just staying in touch with my own relationship with Christ. I think
when you lose that- you can get prideful or forget why you do what you
JONATHAN: Cool, now are you in an accountability relationship-
someone to help remind you of that stuff.
I got a team- a
small group- a couples small group and I absolutely love those guys and girls-
so there's a really strong accountability there and I have a mentoring
relationship as well.
JONATHAN: That's great. Now I was just in
that session you did. I heard your passion- you said you love "training and
equipping like-minded men and women to reach out and become a contagious
Christian." "Like minded men and women"- I like that. Can you expand on
Well you know I think that what I found over the years
is that some of the frustrations out there is that whenever you try to unite
people together that often there are things that become frustrations or
obstacles in front- like when guys or girls that I found in leadership meetings
would leave saying, "you know, we could never do that!" or "we do it
differently!" And so there'd be some frustration. They'd come together- they
want to make a big difference but it seems like everyone is going in a different
direction. So our prayer is to find "like-minded" men and women- not in the
sense that you do everything the exact same way, but "like minded" is that we
are going to agree together- you know- on these values and principles. We're
going to agree together that we really need to reach and lead a generation
together for Christ and become fully devoted followers and we come together and
agree with these principles and values such as evangelism- we're going to
evangelize. So that's how we kind of do the "like minded"
JONATHAN: And it sounds like with your new web site you're
going to kick off some things you really have a heart to do- basically joining
together people with similar visions and similar passions.
JONATHAN: That's great. Hey- just getting to
know you personally- it's fun for all of us youth workers to get to know you
personally- you've shared about your passion and ministry- but how does that
carry on with you personally, outside of your ministry?
think that question gets down to, "how can we be authentic in the passion God's
given us." And I think that experiencing God daily- that's what it comes down
to. And for me, I guess there's a lot of things going on, but what's happened
with my brother recently has effected me the most. When I was growing up I
didn't become a Christian until I was 27 and so during that time I was trying to
fill a void like we all try to do and whatever the world turns to- that's what I
did. Whether it was getting high or relationships, whatever. None of my family
were Christians during that time. I think back- I remember my brother. I was the
first one to get him high actually.
Then I came to know Christ. My
brother, however, continues down that road and becomes and addict and an
alcoholic. So, I've been praying for him for over 20 years now. And what was
amazing was, just recently, he called my sister who's out in California. He knew
that he was having a tough time and his life was falling apart and the drugs
were killing him. And he asked my sister if he could come home. Obviously she
said yes. But she said, "The only thing Andy. . ." His name's Andy. ". . . is
that you're going to have to stay straight." You know, so he decided to come
out, get sober and during that time he goes to the hospital and find out he
actually has lung cancer. And so, they don't know the extent of it. They know
they have to remove a lung. And so I was praying, "Lord, you've got to open the
door for me." and "What is happening here?" So I invited him out to Chicago,
cause he's never been here and never really been interested in the ministry I do
here at the church. And so, anyway, he came out here to a service and we came
back to my house. During that time I shared one more time what the Gospel was
all about and God just opened his heart and he heard it! And so he received
Jesus right there and it was just a powerful moment. And then we were praying
together and he came back to me and said "how are people to know about this?"
which fired me up all the more to say "Lord, I'm going to share you as clear as
I can to all those around me. And so, that kind of kept me on the front lines
most recently to see God, you know, interested in my brothers life- it was just
a powerful experience.
JONATHAN: Wow. So not just teaching others
to share Christ but doing it yourself. And Wow, how much more personally than ...
... my brother.
JONATHAN: ... your
brother. That is awesome.
Switching gears here- what do you do for fun
or to relax? What's the real Bo look like when he's out with family or
You know I still coach and I've always been a coach...
JONATHAN: What do you coach?
that really is my activity that I love. So I enjoy coaching, I enjoy working out
and all that- but it's all a part of being on a high school campus and coaching.
It really does give me life, you know, instead of draining.
JONATHAN: That's great.
And, you know, probably the number one thing
for me certainly is my family. Why relationship with my two kids and my
JONATHAN: Where do you go- what do you do?
We're all into sports quite a bit. I coach my little guy. He's 12 and he's
in Falcons, youth football. My daughters in all kinds of sports.
JONATHAN: Favorite movie?
Favorite movie ... well actually I would say ... I just saw the football movie that's
out ... The Titans (Remember the Titans).
JONATHAN: The new Denzel flick.
That rocked. Have you seen it?
JONATHAN: Not yet- plan to with the wife tomorrow. (I did and it DID ROCK! Best flick
dealing with racism in years- and based on a true story!)
That is a good movie. I just saw it with my little guy.
JONATHAN: I thought it looked good and I wondered if it was.
awesome, I think. It has a good story to it plus it has football ... so you
got to go see the Titans.
JONATHAN: So you think it wipes the
socks of Jerry McGuire and others?
It's right in there. I
agree. It's right in there.
JONATHAN: Okay. Now what's your
favorite web site. I know you're about to launch yours- but what do you find
You know I'm on a lot- I don't know if I could
just pick one. We just build ours, as you know, "the net." And so we've been
doing a lot of research out there. So I was out asking people all over, "where
should I look up." and I saw a lot- I don't think there was any
JONATHAN: Okay. Cool. Now I just saw your Becoming a
Contagious Christian YOUTH EDITION video series, and I can tell you, I've been
looking through every training video I can get my hands on for the last few
years. I'm always looking for good training resources. I can tell you with
absolute integrity, that is the best video series I've seen. Obviously you're
excited about it. Tell us about it.
I am. I am. You know I think ... it's the best work I've ever been a part of. I mean
I'm that excited about it because it has the potential to really train this generation to be
effective in sharing Christ. And I think it does it in a way that's relevant. I
think teaches them how to be bold and confident. And we tried very hard to lay
video down where students could see themselves and kind of say, I can do that!"
You know and it's done in a relationship. The key is relational evangelism and
then the curriculum itself is written in such a way that what I think has been
missing in the curriculum for evangelism is there's not a place where we say
"okay we really are going to practice this or work at this."
JONATHAN: Yep. Yep.
And it does it, again, in a way with friendships and relationships in small
great. And you think that most people, like these overwhelmed youth workers who
are trying to run jr. high, high school, college and more- if they got this
series, they'd be able to train their youth with it.
Absolutely. That was our target. To be able to put a resource in the hands
of those who, you know, maybe aren't full time in ministry or can't write their
own or even full time guys- so they have a tool that they say "this
JONATHAN: And where can they get this resource.
It's published by Zondervan and it will be out in
JONATHAN: Great. So it will be in Christian book stores ...
Oh yeah, it will be in book stores, on line if you want,
JONATHAN: Awesome. Well, thanks for your heart
and thanks for sharing with us- we appreciate that.
Excellent. Thanks man.
To order or inquire about this curriculum call (800) 570-9812
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