Perspective on leading and inspiring young adults: An Interview with Aldo Siahaan

Aldo SiahaanInterview conducted by Jessica Walter

Aldo Siahaan is Associate Pastor at Philadelphia Praise Center (PPC). He has been serving with the congregation since its beginning two years ago. We interviewed Aldo about his experiences leading PPC and how he cultivates and inspires young leaders in his own congregation. The congregation is mostly made up of persons under the age of 40.

GL: What inspires you as a leader at PPC?

What inspires me as a leader at PPC is that the people choose me to lead. I never nominated myself to lead. Somehow the people here believed I would be a good leader because of the work that I have done in the congregation so they asked me to lead. Now they call me “pastor” and “brother” which is sometimes weird for me.

GL: What are your challenges in leading PPC?

One of my challenges as a leader at PPC is that I have to be a spokesperson for both the young people and the elders. I often become a mediator between the two voices. Also as a spiritual leader I have often been challenged by the young people who are not all interested in listening to my spiritual advice.

GL: How do you call out young leaders at PPC?

Taking time with them has proven to be the best method to find and then be in a position to call a young person into leadership. As I spend time with them I begin to see their potentials through observing their daily lives whether at work or school, how they interact with their family, and how they handle the tasks that they’ve been given.

GL: How does PPC encourage young leaders to stay involved?

We ask them to be a creative part of our congregation. We ask them to help us reach out to our neighbors, beyond the Indonesian community. They have helped us as we have been moving into a new building. We are really focused on strengthening our leadership and are interested and open to their new ideas for the church, its programs, and how it reaches both groups and indiviuals.

GL: What are the challenges of getting young leaders involved at PPC?

To be honest, my biggest challenge is that some of them still want to focus on themsleves. They are not all interested in investing their lives in others.