The goal: to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Makah people through the work of the church and outside activities and to raise up strong Makah men to be strong, Christian leaders in their own community.
Between chasing around his six kids (between the ages of 9 months and 14-years-old) and working for the family charter fishing business, Ben Maxson still finds time for Lutheran Indian Ministries. Ben took over the Pastor position at Makah Lutheran Church in Neah Bay in July of 2017.
It was a long and twisting road that brought Ben to Neah Bay and this position. A road that traveled through Wisconsin, Illinois, and Georgia, and included volunteer roles in outreach and music and a heavy focus on occupational ministry (ministry where you work). It was his wife, Natalie, who is Makah herself, and the pull of family that brought them back to settle in Neah Bay three years ago.
Because of his previous degree from Puget Sound Christian College, Ben is preparing to start the Specific Ministry Pastor (SMP) Program through Concordia Seminary online. He has big and exciting plans for the LIM ministry in Neah Bay and is already doing work to get things started.
"We really want to focus on reaching the Neah Bay community as a whole. So, we're always thinking of fun ways to do that." Ben continues, "We've spent a lot of time recently on our multicultural center, updating some electricity, rebuilding the garbage shed, maintenance stuff. This week I'm starting to offer music classes to local families, piano and guitar, as a way to build relationships and to teach Jesus through music.
"But I'm really excited about growing our current child and youth ministries. We've been looking into some great children's curriculums and my big dream is to be able to start an Early Childhood Education program. The early Head Start program in our community is packed to capacity, and I want to be able to serve those families, plus is there any better way to get families through the door than to start with the littlest ones?"