Q&A with Coach Tyrrell on the Simple Room

2014 Graduate of the Greenville College Football program recently became the Director of the Simple Room here in Greenville, IL.  We tracked down Coach Tyrell to ask him a few questions about his new position. 

For those that don’t know much about the Simple Room tell us what it’s all about.
The Simple Room is a non-profit youth center that reaches out to the youth of Greenville through Christ centered relationships and after school programming. Our vision is to live in line with the Great Commission. We hope to cultivate a culture where these children are being discipled into disciple makers. We intend to do this by living SIMPLE lives. To live a SIMPLE life, we strive to Serve, Invest, Motivate, Prepare, Love, and Evangelize Christ to the youth of Greenville. We do these things through building relationships while providing after school programming such as Big Brother/Sister mentoring, after school tutoring, small group Bible studies, and many more opportunities for kids to be reached.  

What initially interested you in the Job?
Throughout college it had always been my intention to work in ministry with youth. At the beginning of my senior year at Greenville College, I had the opportunity to be a big brother to one of the boys down at The Simple Room. Volunteering led into a job opportunity as a staff member which allowed me to invest much more of my time in the lives of these kids. As spring semester progressed I made the decision to stay in Greenville to coach on the Greenville College Football team. Around that same time I felt a tug on my heart to explore the opportunity to stay involved at The Simple Room post graduating from Greenville College. That conversation evolved into an opportunity to apply to be the Director of The Simple Room. And the rest is history I guess, I started officially as Director July 1st of this year.

What exactly does the “Director” do?
The Director oversees the entirety of The Simple Room and makes sure we are a full
functioning and effective ministry in the town of Greenville. All responsibilities begin with the director; the administrative duties of an organization, the relational aspects of running a ministry, and everything in-between. Thankfully The Simple Room has an excellent leadership team where these responsibilities can be delegated accordingly and completed with excellence. Ultimately everything I do as a director falls back on the vision and mission of The Simple Room and leading The Simple Room family in the same direction.

How can people help support this ministry?
The Simple Room would not be able to function if it wasn’t for the support of faithful families around the area and Greenville College. Such support can fall into one of three categories: 1) prayer, 2) time, and 3) financially. 1) If we didn’t have a strong group of people consistently praying for The Simple Room I have a hard time believing we would be as healthy of an organization as we are today. 2) We approximately have 50 or more volunteers throughout the course of the school year donate their time to The Simple Room in one way or another. Lastly, as a non-profit organization we are able to function primarily from financial gifts from donors. We are extremely blessed to have such a strong network of support around us. As we continue to grow as an organization and ministry, such support is vital to the health of this organization. If anyone would like more information or desires to support The Simple Room please check out our website: www.simpleroom.org or email us at: info@simpleroom.org

How did the Greenville College prepare you for this position? 
It was during my 4 years at Greenville College I was surrounded by people and opportunities that molded me into the man I am today. Greenville College is small enough to have the opportunity to develop genuine relationships not only with the football program, but also with the faculty and staff of the college. It is in these relationships where intentional conversations take place, memories are made, and lives are changed. The Religion and Philosophy department at Greenville did a wonderful job providing resources that allowed me to grow immensely while a student here. I also was able to invest 4 years into the football program while attending Greenville. I have a hard time finding the words to articulate what a special thing the Greenville College Football program is. Week in and week out coaches and players invested into my life to best prepare me to be successful and significant wherever I am. Whether that be through the hard work and dedication expected of the team, or the Tuesday night meetings where coaches spill out their hearts and share wisdom, and really do anything they can to prepare the players to go out and change the world. Watching the faculty and staff of the college and living alongside the coaches of the football team I was able to see what it looks like to live intentionally and make sacrifices for the sake of the Gospel. It was the relationships made over the four years that prepared me to be the Director of The Simple Room.

How do you apply EMAP principles with the kids? 
EMAP principles are nuggets of wisdom and knowledge that can be applied anywhere and have the potential to change or create any culture for the better. All EMAP principles are founded on the cornerstone of Love. That is also the case with The Simple Room, as the football program hopes to change the world one life at a time, so does The Simple Room. The idea is that if we can teach our kids to apply these principles which promote successful and significant lives through service, investment, motivation, preparation, loving, and evangelizing Christ; not only will Greenville be changed, but our children will have the resources and tools to create a similar if not better culture of disciple making anywhere they may end up down the road. At The Simple Room we are very upfront and intentional about integrating such principles in all activities and interactions we do with our children and with the community of Greenville. Our leadership team hopes to exemplify these principles as examples for our kids.

Are there any plans to team up with the football team for service projects?  
Of course! I can’t explain how much our kids look up to college and professional athletes. In the past the football program has hosted free football camps for The Simple Room which was a huge hit with the kids. Although allowing the football team to serve our kids has been great, we hope to instill in our kids hearts of service. One way we hope to do that is by creating opportunities for our kids to serve the Greenville community alongside the Greenville College Football players. We are working with the football coaches to figure out some opportunities to team up and serve the town of Greenville.

Are there any exciting changes to the simple room on the horizon that you can let us in on?  
I am extremely blessed to be the Director as The Simple Room has never been in a healthier place before both organizationally and relationally. Over the last 18 months a culture has been cultivating at The Simple Room that will allow us to reach the youth of Greenville in ways we haven’t been able to before. With the leadership team we have in place now I have no doubt The Simple Room will only continue to change this community for the better. Big and great things are happening here. Watch out Greenville, once these kids start taking ownership of their community and begin applying these biblical principles to their daily lives this community will never be the same.

Greenville College Football © 2009 by Jered Schneider.