In March, Southeastern California Conference (SECC) welcomed Meshach Soli as the new associate youth director for club ministries. Soli has been working with youth and young adults since his conversion. He became his church’s youth leader one week after his baptism. “I’ve always had a passion and a heart for youth and young adults, so that was my sweet spot in what I was passionate about,” said Soli.
While Soli has ministered to youth and young adults from all walks of life, he has a special place in his heart for Pacific Islander and indigenous youth. In 2017, Soli was asked to present a seminar on why ethnic minorities, in general, and Pacific Islanders, specifically, were leaving the church at an alarming rate in the North American Division (NAD). As he listened to the other presentations, he learned that natives and others, the group that includes Pacific Islanders, were just two percent of the NAD membership. He felt an awesome responsibility to share their stories and allow their voices to be heard.
Ever since that NAD event, Soli started a hashtag, #TheTwoPercent, and whenever he got the chance to participate in Pacific Islander events, he would share the story and remind them that God does big things with small beginnings. Soon Soli was approached about making the Two Percent more than a hashtag, and it has since become an intentional ministry and platform to highlight and develop the talents, leadership, and giftedness of Pacific Islander and indigenous youth and young adults.
Soli has served as the ministry coordinator of the conference’s Samoan groups. He also helped with the planting of XCell church and served as an associate pastor at Beaumont church. Most recently, he was the pastor of the South Bay church in San Diego. Throughout his ministry, club ministries have always been close to his heart. He often started clubs in churches where they had none, and revitalized clubs that were fledgling.
In reflecting on his excitement about Soli joining the youth ministries team, Youth Director Aren Rennacker said, “He brings a heart for young people and a spirit of collaboration that has already impacted our conference. I know Pastor Meshach will continue to impact the young people and the ministry leaders of our conference in tremendous ways.”
Soli is grateful to follow his two predecessors, Rudy Carrillo and Patty Marruffo, who helped to shape his ministry. “To follow these two leaders who poured into me, I feel like I have a little bit of both of their leadership and blessings to see where God is leading us now,” said Soli.
With all the success that he has experienced, he still has a humble spirit. “Ministry was fine before I got here and ministry is going to be just as fine when I’m gone. I have always held onto success loosely because I realize that it isn’t about me.”
By Andrea King