Michael James Mette is the first to admit he was a "quirky" teenager. Although he attended a Catholic high school in small-town middle America, his dreams were often larger than life and these dreams prompted him to stand out among others in his community. His interests, to some, may have been peculiar. He had a strong interest in the music and life of a celebrity pop icon. He dressed to be noticed. He shined on the stage as the lead in school musicals instead of the basketball court, the track, or the football field. He had goals of owning his own guitar manufacturing company, and envisioned himself married, with a large family, at a very young age. Yet?MJM was a young man who was always seeking.
After graduating high school, MJM found a sense of direction by joining the Air Force. Who would have thought this creative idealist would find a place as a specialist in bomber avionics? The USAF assigned Michael to Dyess Air Force Base near Abilene, TX which meant having to leave his soul mate, Michelle, (who oddly enough he had just met two months before reporting for duty). After a long distance relationship, Michelle would eventually relocate to TX and the couple would marry. Seemed that things were right on track now for MJM and his wife, but? this young man was always seeking.
By 2000, it seemed that MJM was secure in a career (and even took on a second job for additional income), but it was here at a small ethnic church that God would start to reveal HIS plan for Michael which would eventually lead him into full-time music ministry (and youth ministry). This road would start with Michael playing the drums in a youth praise band and later lead him to an "evangelization course", where he also learned to facilitate retreats. It was through this process that Michael would learn his true purpose-to KNOW, to LOVE and to SERVE.
In 2001, the young couple relocated to their "hometown" ofdefinitelygham, IL where they researched and prepared to kick-off the first comprehensive youth ministry program in the area calleddefinitelygham Area Life Teen. In an interesting twist of fate, Michael was released from "active duty" from the air force just two days prior to the terrorist attacks of 9/11 in New York. Clearly God was revealing that HE wanted him in a different place. That was affirmed eight months later, when the youth program officially launched. Not long thereafter, Michael made a full commitment to completing his college education where he switched his major from business to theology and MJM settles into his life as a music minister, a youth minister, and a high school teacher.
Through practical experience, and a college degree in Theology, Michael was able to provide the teens with a solid faith foundation but present it to them in a way that was relevant to the current youth culture. With his youthful energy, rocking guitar, and radical love for Christ, MJM is not afraid to give straight answers on hard topics like chastity, pornography, and contraception.
New opportunities moved MJM (and his young family) to California where Michael would have the opportunity to work in a large suburban parish youth program and focus additional energy on developing his talent as a modern rock worship leader and songwriter. This experience would inspire him to write the Eucharistic Adoration song titled Consume My Heart which was the backdrop for a five song EP he released in 2007 that tied in with a Lenten Program called "Forty Days of Praise".
During all this time Michael and Michelle also started building their family-just as Michael had always dreamed. Surely this young couple was counting their blessings but as the family grew they missed the familiarities of the Midwest. Eventually, Michael would be offered an opportunity to be the music minister with Southside Youth Ministry based in St Louis, MO. SYM gives Michael the platform he needs to bring the gospel alive to a "Guitar Hero" generation. Michael regularly plays music for worship at liturgies, concerts, and conferences. He is immersed in teen culture by ministering weekly at local youth masses and prayer nights. He is easily able to adapt or adjust his presentations to accommodate the needs/ages of those attending the Mass or event.
Today, Michael continues his work with SYM, but sees a new direction for his personal music ministry and his ability to communicate effective as a workshop leader and speaker. He continues his songwriting and plans on releasing a full CD of modern rock worship music in early 2010 to coincide with his ongoing Forty Days of Praise Lenten Mission. Michael continues to gain visibility in the Catholic/Christian market through appearances at large scale events including Pro-Life Rallies (in Washington, DC), NCYC and through television appearances on Catholic Family Land and more. In 2010 he'll also introduce his new workshop and school assembly program titled "KNOW, LOVE, SERVE?this is YOUR faith!"