Justin Noseworthy: More than pastor to local flock

Into the Carmel Presbyterian Church parking lot pulls a 2004 Ford Taurus station wagon, with a surfboard strapped to the top and a Carmel High School Water Polo sticker on the back bumper. With a wave and a big smile, Justin Noseworthy steps out of the car and walks toward the church to greet a high school student. With his cargo shorts, sandals, “Nuns and Moses” t-shirt, full beard, and the Bible application he frequently references to on his iPhone, one could call the CPC youth-pastor a modern-day biblical figure.

Noseworthy has been attending the same youth group since he was a kid, but this will be his eighth year working for CPC.

“Justin Noseworthy is the best thing that ever happened to youth group,” youth ministry volunteer Keit Ross explains. “Ever. He’s the guy that relates to everybody, anyhow. He’s awesome, for what he stands for and how he helps with kids. I don’t think this youth group would be anything without him.”

With the effort that Noseworthy puts into his job, it’s no wonder that he is so greatly admired by his associates.

“Believe it or not,” Noseworthy says, laughing, “summertime is the most stressful time of the year for me.”

During the summer, Noseworthy organizes and leads trips for middle school and high school students at the church to the Sacramento Delta, Yosemite, Big Sur, and Southern California, and he leads several other trips during the school year. Noseworthy leads youth group on Wednesdays and Sundays, participates in small group meetings and practices with the praise band he leads throughout the week, coaches water polo at Carmel High School, and meets one-on-one with students whenever he has free time.

Leading youth ministry is much more than just a job for Noseworthy; he really cares about the students he works with and takes time out of his day to hear about what’s going on in their lives. He loves his job, and helping kids move toward growth and love isn’t work for him; it’s his life. Noseworthy sits up from slouching and with a stroke of his beard begins to explain what about his work he loves so much.

“I enjoy being able to witness growth, seeing students grow in their faith, in maturity, and grow toward ultimately what Jesus calls ‘life abundant,’ or life complete,” Noseworthy explains, still smiling, but now much more serious. “I think that youth are capable of remarkable excellence and amazing things.”

It is his non-judging personality and youthfulness that allows Noseworthy to relate so well with the youth at the church.

“It’s one of the most joyous, glorious feelings I’ve ever experienced,” Noseworthy continues, “to see students make decisions toward life, toward truth and love, and toward God and really just flourish in their life. I’m affected deeply by the decisions they make.”

Surprisingly enough, Noseworthy finds the time to work as the Carmel High junior varisty boys’ water polo assistant coach. Having played the sport for Carmel High years ago, and with his lifetime of experience surfing, Noseworthy really knows his stuff.

“Justin’s a positive influence on the whole team,” says Patrick Kelly, a JV player and CHS sophomore. “He’s really a great person. He displays positive alternatives to temptations in high school with his passion for water polo. When he’s coaching, he doesn’t yell, but he definitely knows when to put us in our place. Justin’s just a cool guy… a surfer bro, a real chillaxin dude.”

Between leading the youth ministry, coaching water polo, and hanging out with high schoolers from the youth group, Noseworthy surprisingly manages to find some free time for himself.

“I love to hang out with my wife. She’s cool.” Noseworthy laughs, leaning back in his chair and crossing his legs. “I like to surf, I like to play soccer. I like to do almost anything that’s active, love playing music.” Smiling and gazing off, he continues, “I love to hang out with good friends and family and just enjoy life to its fullest.”

In addition to the trips he leads for students, traveling is a passion of Noseworthy’s. He’s been on several mission trips and recreational trips around the world.

“I love traveling. It just broadens perspective. I also just love adventure.”

Noseworthy sits back up, placing his feet back on the ground.

“My fondest memories…surfing in tropical climates, playing soccer in Africa, playing soccer in Costa Rica, and just getting to hear stories of people experiencing life in ways I will never understand and learning from that.”

Noseworthy is certainly a well-rounded character with such beautiful experiences that many could never even imagine.

“Justin is always thinking outside of the box,” fellow youth ministry leader Bob Spencer explains. “He’s definitely not a conventional church-going church worker. He’s very authentic and very thoughtful with his words, very well-spoken. I love the way Justin reaches out to students, inviting them in and making them feel at home.”

Spencer laughs, glancing over at Noseworthy, who has just “dunked’ on one of the high school boys in the youth group in a game of one-on-one basketball.

“He’s such a servant of God,” Spencer continues. “I look up to him in a lot of different ways.”

There’s no doubt that Justin Noseworthy is really one-of-a-kind. His humble, understanding nature and his humor and love for adventure have allowed him to make such an incredibly positive impact on the church, the Carmel High School water polo program, and the community.

-Caroline Conron