Jared Diller’s Story

December 19, 2023


Jared Diller, Campus Life Student and present Executive Director, 1990-1995 / 2011-present

As a high school church kid, I did not have a lot of interest in the Sunday sermon.  My family attended the same church as Paul Miserlian, YFC Executive Director at the time.  That is where he and I had our first run in.

As I filed down the church’s balcony stairway with other high school kids, Paul planted himself by the door so that each one of us would pass by.  We all knew Paul, and that he wasn’t afraid to approach us and find out how we were doing.  I wonder how many guys reading this story can remember being “lovingly” slugged in the arm by Paul?  That’s how he would occasionally greet me along with a smile.  The punches worked to get my attention and his follow up questions eventually made me know he actually cared. 

In that time that I was not actively listening to the Word of God, I believe God in his loving mercy put guys like Paul and Jim King in my path.

The most important question Paul asked me happened at the Pandora park, as Campus Life was playing volleyball.  We stood off to the side and he asked “How do you know that you are saved?” 

I remember searching my mind for the right answer as if it was a Sunday School pop quiz.  I know my answer included Jesus, the cross, and sin but at some point in the ramble, I said “the Bible says”.  Paul paused me and said “That’s what I wanted to hear.” His desire was to know that my faith was rooted in God’s Word.

Even though I gave Paul the answer he was looking for, I was left feeling unsure.  Unsure if what I said I believe was actually what I believed.  This turned into soul searching and prayers that would in time lead me to a faith that was rooted in the Word and in my heart. 

A graduation present from my parents enabled me to go with Paul and two others on a Canadian fishing trip.  Then again in my 20’s with Paul, Seth Amstutz, and Paul Ginther.   I wonder how many people reading this had a similar experience with Paul (fishing, canoeing, or camping?)

As an adult, when I saw Paul at church, I would greet him with a hug…pretty sure playful punches still happened.  He would ask me how I am doing? Then, turn to my wife Amy and ask “Really, how’s he doing?”  I so appreciated his love and care to ask real, sometimes hard, questions. 

Paul would be mad if I left this message without sharing the source to where his life and care for others came from – Jesus.  Paul spent time with Jesus and intentionally followed Him to reach out to guys like me. 

I am very honored to be able to share my “Paul story” with you.  I know many of you have your own story to share.  Please do!  Follow this link to share how God has used Paul and others within YFC to impact your life.  Share your story here!