Ryan Busse ’16

by | Apr 9, 2024

Christian Ministries major
Executive Pastor, St. Mark Missionary Church

It’s not often you meet someone who admittedly enjoys being in a number two role. Ryan Busse ’16 is the executive pastor at St. Mark Missionary Church, a role he credits greatly to the impact Bethel has had on his life, and he loves being the one to remove unexpected hurdles that may hinder others from coming to the Gospel.

Busse approached the senior pastor at St. Mark when he was seeking out a six-month internship for his last year at Bethel. It was through this internship that he explored the various ministries within a church, from working with teens to adults, and ultimately discovered that he loved working behind the scenes helping and letting other people get the recognition. He acknowledges that his career today is significantly less stressful thanks to the donors who helped provide scholarships for him as a student.

“Through donors, one of the largest stressors in most people’s lives — the [student] debt that they have — was a lot smaller than it could have been,” Busse says, “which then frees my brain and my spirit up to better serve the Lord without constantly seeing dollar signs in my mind and feeling the weight pinning me down.”

Bethel’s impact went beyond financial. While a student, Busse learned how to make his faith practical rather than living as part of an expectation of what he should do. It was a step further than just the head knowledge he garnered in the classroom. Busse also saw his perspective on life and ministry reframe as he began to better understand ways to view the world through race, poverty or even familial brokenness through experiences like interning with Transformation Ministries, an urban-focused neighborhood ministry, or going on Task Force teams.

Although his position as a pastor gives him ample opportunity throughout the work week to share Christ with others, Busse finds the most influential time to speak Jesus into the lives of others is when he’s off the clock. It is reflected when he and his wife, Alayna, hear their three-year-old daughter continually repeat what they say, or he recognizes it in an interaction with the neighbor on a walk or in the grocery store.

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