ALUM HIGHLIGHTS: KIPP ZIMMERMAN
(Pilot Kipp Zimmerman)
Alumni Kipp Zimmerman found himself at a crossroad when his season as a
Youth Pastor in Philadelphia came to an end. After over a decade of faithfully serving
the LORD, God was opening up a new door in a different direction.
Little did he know that door would lead him to the beautiful mountains of Denver,
Growing up, Kipp and his father shared a love for aviation that has carried on
over the years; it was no coincidence that the ATP Denver Flight school was only a few
miles away. God was turning his life-long passion into a career. He accelerated through
flight school and quickly moved onto certified flight instructor program expecting to
make this his career. However, when things didn't go as planned, he realized how tightly
he was clinging to his own plans rather than allowing God to take control. Through
confusion and what seemed like broken dreams, God was indeed faithful; His plans
were bigger than Kipp’s wildest dreams. “It has been out of the times of brokenness
God has opened up new avenues and provided new adventures. I can’t say any of this
has been mine, but the fruit of God’s purpose for our lives.” For Kipp, the waiting period
was tedious. It was a reflective time that reminded him to be patient and recall what God
had already done.
As if a weight was taken off his shoulders, Kipp found out there were other
options to become a pilot that he didn’t even know existed. At the very last moment, he
was hired as an aerial survey pilot for Aerial Imaging, the same company that provides
images for Google maps, countries, constructions, and others. This wasn’t the best
position for someone like Kipp, who is exceedingly outgoing and enjoys community,
because of the extended periods of time alone, but the Lord intimately met him in these
moments. Currently, Kipp is residing near Phoenix, Arizona, where he has been living
since last May. He has been a commercial pilot for nearly three years and loves his job.
For Kipp, every day is a new adventure when he’s flying private charter and tours over
the grandeur that is the Grand Canyon.
What seemed like small stepping stones over the years proved themselves to
be the walkway to the center of God’s will. Kipp’s title of Youth Pastor may have been
stripped away, but what was left was ever greater; his identity in the LORD. His father
spoke the wise words, “Ministry is not within four walls, but rather how you live out your
life.” Although his profession has changed, his heart and calling have stayed the same.
He has always enjoyed forming relationships and pouring life into others.
His ability to make those he encounters on his guided tours feel like family comes from
being a former youth pastor. It’s been a unique opportunity to share the love of Jesus
with those he would not normally have come in contact with.
This new season of Kipp’s life has been one of refining, a subtle reminder that no
matter what stage of life you walk, there are always lessons to be learned. For Kipp, this
was a revelation of perspective. Soaring above the seemingly small world below,
separates him from the distractions of life and allows him to focus upwards and inward.
These moments have brought insight to the bigger picture of God’s plan and the beauty
of his works.
Sometimes we go through life wondering if God is present in the midst of our
chaos or even simply our lives. Joshua 1:9 declares “Have I not commanded you? Be
strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your
God will be with you wherever you go.” For Kipp and his father, this life verse has
brought both comfort and boldness in the deep moments of loneliness and uncertainty.
How beautiful it is to put our faith in the God that fulfills the many promises He so freely
lavishes upon us. Take the courage to obey, you won’t be disappointed where He leads
(Zimmerman with his father)