Steve Dobritch

Steve Dobritch, pastoral resident in GCI’s Canfield, Ohio, church, grew up near Cincinnati but moved a lot. “My father, being a minister, was involved in more churches than I can remember. I had the opportunity to be a part of many congregations around the Ohio-Pennsylvania area. I’ve been in our Canfield church (near Youngstown, Ohio), for the last 20 years.” Steve said that being a “pastor’s kid” gave him unique experiences. “While it was sad to leave friends and change schools growing up, it was also exciting to experience all of the different churches and communities over the years.”

Dobritch
Steve (at left) and his family (pastor John Dobritch, is second from right)

Growing up in a pastor’s home influenced Steve’s decision to be actively involved in ministry for the past 12 years. Much of that ministry has involved one of the loves of his life: “Music is my favorite thing in the world. When we worship—whether inside or outside the church—music transcends the normal and accentuates the spiritual. For me, music makes the worship experience one of the most important parts of my relationship with God.”

It was in a GCI camp that Steve first heard about GCI’s intern program and he sent in an application. ”In January 2012 I became an intern under the direction of my father John Dobritch, who pastors our Canfield church. Over the years while volunteering in that congregation, I realized a calling to ministry. The moment I chose to enter the intern program was the moment I knew that I wanted to pursue pastoral ministry as my vocation. I have never seen something so simple become so difficult, and at the same time, so rewarding. Ministry is what gets me excited about getting out of bed every day.”

Steve was in the intern program for two years. “The strengths of my experience in the program were the opportunities to work in ministry leadership in youth and worship ministry. The main challenges I experienced were the expectations I placed on myself. It’s easy for me to dwell on the professional aspects of ministry and get caught up in reaching goals I set for myself instead of focusing on where God has me and dealing with the growth he intends for me.” Steve recalls his first sermon as being one of his most memorable experiences. “It was the most terrifying and exhilarating moment of my life.”

After completing the intern program, Steve began serving alongside his dad as a pastoral resident in the Canfield church. “The thing I enjoy most about the residency program is the people involved in it. I have had more support in the church while being a pastoral resident than I could ever have imagined. Countless people have been there for me and continue to support me as I continue to grow in my identity as a pastoral leader in the church.”

When asked about being part of GCI, Steve says he loves our history. “I can’t think of another group of people who have gone through the kind of evolution we have. To see where we are and how far we have come is staggering, in a good way. I think we understand just how blessed we are because we can look back.”

Steve said he feels closest to God when going through a trial. “There are moments when I realize I need more than what I can give and I have to rely on the strength God gives me. While it can be humbling, it also allows me to remember the importance of the role God has in my life.”

Advice Steve would give to someone considering the intern program? “It might get uncomfortable and it will definitely be humbling, but it will change who you are in the best way possible.”

For information about the GCI intern program, go to www.gci.org/internprogram.

2 thoughts on “Steve Dobritch”

  1. Hi Steve,

    Much appreciate “getting to know you”. May the passion of your ministry never extinguish. Christ is your enabler and strength. In Him you can always trust.

    God’s blessings,
    Santiago

  2. Hi Steve, it’s great to read your story as a “second-generation” pastor, although you are unique to God in your self and your calling. May God grant you a lifetime ahead of ministry opportunities to point people to the Son of the Father by the Spirit.

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