Justin Makowski, 22, is excited to combine his love of music and people as the newest director of Worship and Connections at Munster Church, 214 Ridge Road.
The Detroit native, now living in Lansing, Ill., took the position in May and leads worship songs for approximately 250 members every week.
“Whenever you are leading a large group of people, one of the biggest struggles is sifting through differences in preference, culture, or generation,” Makowski said.
“I make a point to listen to feedback, but I also strive to consider that in the context of what is truly best for the church as a whole.”
In July, Makowski facilitated a combined service and community picnic with Roseland Christian Reformed Church of Chicago, and will assist with games, movies and food during Munster Church’s Fall Family Month in November.
“Part of my job is helping current members and new visitors get better connected, and another part is helping our church get better connected to the surrounding community,” Makowski said.
A 2013 music theory graduate of Hope College in Holland, Mich., Makowski also heads up the Munster Church's middle school youth group, EPIC.
“Ever since having such an amazing experience with my youth group in high school, I knew that I wanted an opportunity to invest in and mentor the next generation,” he said.
“Students need people to invest in them, provide leadership opportunities, challenge them, and provide a healthy environment where they can ask tough questions,” he added.
Makowski previously served as program director at Hope College for the Lead Out youth leadership training program.
“I got to work with churches and schools on really giving students opportunities to lead, rather than just telling them they need to step up and be leaders,” he said.
“I learned a lot about grant writing, public speaking, and working with people of all ages.”
In addition, Makowski played piano for the Gospel Choir at Hope College for four years and was a member of the Holland Street Performers, hired by the city to perform as a table-hopping magician.