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Welcome to Joe Tucker, Executive Director of South Street Ministries.

What’s your favorite quote? “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” -MLK Jr.

What’s something unique about you? I collect X-Men comics.

My Eagle Scout project (in 2003) was at the South Street bike shop. Seventeen-year-old Joe Tucker organized a messy array of bikes and moved others into the renovated shop in preparation for a summer of ministry. Little did I know then, that God would bring me back to that same place in 2010 — leading the Bike Shop as a volunteer. Over the next few years, I would join the staff of South Street, write grants for Bike Shop, recruit summer interns, and many other organizational and ministerial tasks. 

As I write tonight, I have just returned from another evening of Bike Shop! Every Monday from 5 to 8, youths from Summit Lake and beyond come to earn a bicycle. The older the youth, the more hours they have to work in order to earn their bike, and along the way they learn how to fix a flat tire, repair brakes, and so on. Kids can bring their own bike back to repair flats and other minor issues. 

Duane Crabbs often says that programs are our excuse for relationship. Bike Shop is just that — a holistic program where kids can earn a bike and caring Christian adults are provided with a chance to connect with youth in work and ministry moments. 

And ministry moments abound! Imagine counseling a youth about patience as you reiterate that they have to wait a week (or two) before they can take a bike home.  Or explaining peace and serenity to a 10-year-old after working on a brake-line for an hour and realizing that you just can’t fix it. 

It is in these moments that we get to minister — wherein we get to share how we (as people of faith) deal with frustration, anger, hurt, and other hardships of life. For this ministry to be realized a few things must be true:

— We need to be in places where connection can happen. — In order to share serenity and love, we must first have those fruits of the spirit. We need to cultivate a fruitful inner-self in order to share out.

I can recall times of camp ministry wherein we would schedule in the “Jesus-talk.” We would plan the presentation of the Gospel (and that is a good and valid medium of ministry). However, at Bike Shop, we learn how to fix bikes and learn how to organically share aspects of faith when the ministry moment arrives.