Running across the stage, climbing over pews and throwing water, this young man is energetic when he preaches. Passionate for preaching the Word of God, his active form of preaching is no surprise coming from Central College student Cory Nikkel.
With his enthusiasm to reach those who need Christ and delve into the ministry headfirst, Nikkel has been visiting churches, speaking at schools and organizations as part of his calling to preach to others the good news of Christ.
“That opportunity has been amazing to see that blossom, to really get the chance to go to youth groups and speak my heart and give them a great message that the Lord has for them,” Nikkel said.
It started with the missions trips he went on while a student at Pella Christian High School. From Australia to Europe, Canada and a few other countries, Nikkel found that God was calling him to minister and he decided to follow that path right here in Pella, Iowa.
“I never thought I would still be in Pella. But God, for me and my faith, said there’s more work to be done here,” Nikkel commented.
After high school, Nikkel started attending college at Central College but decided to take a semester off for ministry work. He signed up with Youth with a Mission, otherwise known as YWAM, and spent four and a half months in Australia. From there, he knew ministry was his calling. He signed up with the Christian Reformed Church to become a licensed pastor and after a yearlong process of going through classes, being examined of doctrinal knowledge and preaching, he became a licensed pastor. Then he started filling on Sunday mornings for churches around the area.
“It is my severe passion to change lives. We’re all broken and we fail every single day. So this idea of preaching and being in the public spotlight and given a chance to speak to masses of people is that I have a severe passion to change hearts to be better than we’ve been,” Nikkel commented about speaking in various churches.
Nikkel’s heart lies with the young adult age group and he is haunted by the statistic that 59 percent of 18-29 year olds no longer go to church, and Nikkel wants to reach that 59 percent.
“You look at our culture, we’re struggling. I’ve made my own mistakes. I’ve filled that chasm with the wrong things before and I am speaking out to whoever I can find to help change their life.”
Along with his outreach and preaching at local churches and organizations, Nikkel also coaches football in Montezuma and is student teaching this fall to complete his degree in English and Secondary Education. He is also getting involved in a local Pella ministry, Vital Ministries. But he has big plans for after college graduation.
Nikkel plans on teaching for a few years to expose himself to the culture of young teenagers as a research base for a book he is working on. Tentatively titled For the Life of Me and What Could Be You, the book is about transition from high school to college.
He plans on finishing his book within the next few years and hopes that the book will give him the platform to speak nationally. He started his own website, www.corkynikkel.com, where he posts on his blog and uploads his speaking schedule.
He also plans on obtaining a Master’s in Divinity and becoming ordained, then found an international organization that sends free health care to countries where most cannot afford it.
“I have all this energy to pour out and change people’s lives. I’m big and I’m going for it,” Nikkel said.
He’s simply a 23-year old college student from Pella, but this young man is taking his servant heart and is reaching for big things for God. We’ll surely be seeing this young man’s face more often as he continues to allow God to use him wherever God leads him, whether it be here or outside of Pella.