“The leaders here have a heart to equip and train us, students”
Student Story, Andrew Miller (Oaks College Student)
Andrew Miller is one of our current students who exemplify great leadership, dedication, and intentionality. When he started his experience at Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU), he wasn’t a part of Oaks College, previously known as Oaks School of Leadership (OSL).
“I had no idea what OSL was when coming into SAGU. I didn’t even think that I was going to join an internship program while in college because I already had a job lined up.”
He started off his journey not knowing what Oaks College was, but — now — he serves as one of the program’s student leaders.
Childhood and Family
Andrew Miller grew up in a Christian household, having grandparents as missionaries who served in Ukraine, Poland, Bulgaria, India, and Guatemala. In spite of this, Miller claims that he didn’t grow up feeling like a ministry kid, but more so that he had to discover it on his own. Furthermore, he never knew what it truly meant to go into ministry.
“Growing up, I was also very insecure because I was always the joke in my friend group. At some point, I struggled in finding my identity. I don’t think I really knew what ministry was when I was young because I was so focused on trying to find my identity, which led me to look for satisfaction in drugs and alcohol in high school. But, I am very grateful that — at one point — the Lord revealed who I am and who He has called me to be.”
At Sky Ranch in Colorado, Miller shares that he was exposed to the Holy Spirit for the first time, turning everything that he believed in into reality. At the age of 15, he gave himself to the Lord, and began to grow in his relationship with God. Miller claims that he looked up to his grandfather as an example of what it looks like to be mature in your faith, but yet still be childlike. Because of how passionate, intimate, and strong his grandfather is, Miller wanted to be just like him.
Oaks College Experience
When Miller moved into college, he was paired up with a basketball player but had to switch roommates. After multiple dorm rearrangements, Miller eventually had an Oaks College student, Cameron Voss, as his suite mate. All of the guys in Oaks College always came to visit Voss, and they began to include him and kept telling him about the program.
“Some of the things that they were telling me about Oaks College were very intriguing. I remember, distinctly, someone saying, “You’re going to learn 90% of the things at Oaks College and 10% at SAGU,” saying that if you want to know how to lead a ministry, you’re going to need hands-on experience with training and amazing leaders in a healthy church atmosphere.”
Because of this, Miller turned in an application on the last night of being able to sign up for the program, and it was a decision that changed his life forever. When asking how he chose which department he wanted to serve in, Miller pointed out that he wanted to submit under the leadership of the Youth Pastor, Andrew Prescott, wanting to be a part of the culture that he created.
Coming into the program, Miller shared that he struggled a lot with pride because he didn’t feel secured in who he was. He states that being a part of Oaks College humbled him because the Lord showed him that he’s not the only one that He’s called. Seeing amazing leaders, like Andrew Prescott, lead others into a whole new level of humility allowed the Lord to do an amazing work in Miller’s heart. He claims that he has improved on humility, but is still something that he needs to remember to bring to the Lord every single day.
When being asked if the experience of Oaks College reached his expectations, Miller responded:
“Oaks College is definitely more than just setting up chairs and doing tedious things that other people don’t want to do. The leaders here have a heart to equip and train us, students, to be a part of something so much bigger than ourselves. We’re trained to see that there is no task below us.”
What Does Your Life Look Like Now?
Currently, Miller is the Ministry Assistant (MA) of small groups for the Youth department, where he gets to create the content for weekly small groups, as well as plan and facilitate small group experiences. He shares that even though it is a natural assumption to think that putting someone in a position of small groups is someone who exemplifies conversational intelligence, he is still learning so much on how to not only be a leader, but an intentional leader. Miller claims even before he knew about Oaks College, he was praying for a way to pour into people. Now, having the opportunity to disciple and walk alongside others is an incredible and unique chance to be given.
Dear Future Student,
“Don’t get caught up in your doing so much that you’re no just being. We are human beings, not human doings. Establish and find your identity in the Lord more than you focus on your performance and effectiveness of your ministry. In the grand scheme of things, your time with the Lord will never change but your ministry will. Focus on your intimacy with God and let everything else overflow from it.”