Alex Elliott: High School Student and… Preacher?


Photo by: Taylor Sherley

Students often receive great recognition after achieving something great throughout the school year. However, there are many people that don’t get the praise they deserve even when they’ve done something amazing as well. Take Alex Elliott for example.

Over this past summer, Alex competed in the National Independent Fundamental Churches of America (IFCA) Youth Convention. “The main focus of the conference was to equip teens to be able to serve God and evangelize to His people, while at the same time providing some friendly competition,” Elliott said.

The regional competition was at Calvary Bible College in south Kansas City, Missouri. Within the convention were ‘Ministry Training Areas.’ Some of the MTA’s included: singing, playing music, puppetry, skits, bible lessons, and preaching. Alex competed in the ministry department.

“I like public speaking and I’m good at it. I love Christ with all of my heart. Also, I’m no good at singing or playing instruments, so I decided that preaching would be a good area for me to compete in. My goal in the future is to be a pastor, and I think that competing is a good place to start. The feedback and encouragement from the judges really helped to kick-start this path,” Elliott said.

Although getting up in front of a crowd of people and speaking is usually terrifying for most, it’s not like that for Alex. “Part of it is my personality, I just love talking to and teaching people. Also, classes like debate and forensics helped me develop into a better speaker. Most of all, the Lord’s Holy Spirit has been essential in guiding and directing me in what to say and how to spread His word.”

Once at the competition, Alex gave a sermon to a group of judges as if he were preaching to an actual church. “My sermon focused on Acts 17:22-31. I outlined the attributes of God (omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient), and I talked about how all of us have “little-g-gods” (i.e. phones, computers, TV, and other sinful desires) that get between us and the one true God,” Elliott said.

In just two days at the conference, he managed to qualify for the national competition at Appalachian Bible College in Mount Hope, West Virginia.

“I wasn’t very surprised, but I was very happy and excited. Lots of my friends and family were surprised because most of them didn’t know that I had preached in the first place, not to mention the fact that I made it to nationals. Also, they were very proud of me,” Alex said.

The national convention lasted one week. Alex had his youth group there with him for moral support. In the end, he ended up placing third in the entire country.

“The only thing I would have done differently was memorize my sermon better. I got really nervous, so I ended up stumbling on a few parts of the sermon. Other than that, the doctrine was sound and I think I did pretty okay,” Elliott said.

Alex ended up coming back with more than just a third place spot in the nation. “I met the coolest Christian girl on the planet at IFCA, and now we’re in a relationship. She got a Division 1 rating for playing the flute and singing,” Alex said.

In the end, Elliott was pleased with how he did. “The training at the conference and the instruction from the judges has been very encouraging to me, and I plan on furthering my training through my pastor at my church. It was a very fun, edifying, encouraging, and at some point nerve-wracking week.”

Alex Elliott is just one of many students proudly representing Basehor-Linwood High School in their activities. Congratulations, Alex!