Love: He loves the students. He gets involved with their life. He genuinely loves people, maybe more than anyone I know. He deeply cares about each student and where they are at with the Lord.
Respect: The students love Ace. Many of them see him as a second father. Some see him as the father they never had. Ace always has a listening ear, ready to hear and care. They wrestle with him, compare biceps with him, and enjoy being around him.
Teachability: He aspires to keep growing. He always wants to be a better teacher, a better leader, a better friend. He excels in many ways already, but wants to do better. He wants to keep growing. He won’t hide his struggles, but uses them to encourage and minister to others.
Service: He serves. He does audio ministry. He has been an elder. He goes to Tuesday Night Bible Study. He makes food in the Ripley Kitchen. He makes the small group hot dogs on his grill.
Humility: He is humble. Here's an example: Let's say its a random Saturday afternoon. You just got done with a long day of lawn work and just sat down inside to relax. Then, you get called out of your house and then hosed down by some punks. What would you do? Sinfully, I would either A) pull an angel of the Lord vs. the Assyrians (see Isaiah 37.36) or B) Go outside and weep bitterly (a la Peter in Matthew 26.75). Ace? He gets hosed down, then invites the guys in for food and a movie. (I won’t say who the punks are, but their names rhyme with Mandy, Mete, and Mars).
Wisdom: He is wise. I trust Ace. I trust his wisdom and his guidance. He assisted me big time with this summer’s mission trip to make the trip possible. He has helped me and steadied me as I’ve learned how to do youth ministry. He sees youth ministry from both sides—he has been through high school and has had kids go through high school—and is wiser for it.
I am grateful to have Ace as a youth leader. He is an asset. Even better (and maybe a little mushier), I am glad to have Ace as a friend. I love him (ok, it was a lot mushier, but its true).