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Kids’ beliefs form early - Odessa American: People

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Kids’ beliefs form early

Greenwood pastor says Bible ‘one big story’ that points to Jesus

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Posted: Saturday, November 16, 2019 4:00 am

GREENWOOD Most ministers eventually like to move on from a youth or children’s pastorate to become a pulpit minister or adults’ pastor, but the Rev. James Cosentino has found his calling as a children’s pastor, ensuring that young people have a good foundation at the latest by age 12, when they have formed their belief systems.

Having had charge of the children’s religious education program at Greenwood Baptist Church for 8 1/2 years, Cosentino says the process of building a good foundation should be well underway by age 6 or 7 because a child will otherwise base his or her beliefs on the popular culture or what friends are saying

“We teach Jesus in all we do,” he said. “He is the only way to God. He is our hope and he gives us life. Our strength is found in him. He is the reason why we do everything we do.

“I teach kids how to memorize and learn the word of God. All the Bible points us to Jesus. The Bible is not just a bunch of little stories, it’s one big story.”

Cosentino is a 40-year-old Hobbs, N.M., native who studied computer science at New Mexico Junior College and at Texas Tech before taking a bachelor’s degree in occupational education at Wayland Baptist University in Lubbock. He was a children’s pastor in Abbeville, Miss., for 3 1/2 years before joining Greenwood Baptist Church. He and his wife Shari have four children.

His church, 12 miles east of Midland at 10909 FM 307, averages 130-150 people at its 10:50 a.m. Sunday services.

“The Bible tells us what God has done and we want to give kids a foundation for living their lives in faith and trust in Jesus as they’re developing their world views and beliefs,” said Cosentino. “We want to make sure they have the truth of what God has given us in his word.”

The Rev. Zach Crook of Bridgeton, Mo., former pastor of the church here, said Cosentino “has been one of my favorite staff members to work with.

“James is very servant-hearted and is willing to do anything for anybody,” Crook said. “His love for the Lord is seen in how he selflessly serves others.”

Crook said Cosentino “feels called to serve in that associate pastor capacity.

“He also had a daily family Bible study,” the pastor said. “He is a big Texas Tech guy who loves Mexican food.”

Odessa, TX

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