Driven to Serve

Some people like cars. Dave Tindall loves them. In fact, up until five years ago, cars were probably his closest friends. That is, until God revved up Tindall’s passion in an unexpected way and steered him onto a road he’d never traveled before — with Young Life.
 
When it comes to cars, Tindall can do just about anything. He has an oversized garage full of tools and all the knowledge and talent to match. He can repair clunkers and restore classics.
 
By day, Tindall is an electrical engineer. A self-described extreme introvert, he admits that for many years he was perfectly content spending every night alone tinkering in his garage.
 
That’s why he was sure God was mistaken when he was stirred by an announcement at church calling for Young Life volunteers. “Immediately, a whole list of excuses rolled through my mind,” he said. “It didn’t make sense that such a relational, outgoing, energetic ministry would be right for me since none of those things are characteristic of my life.”
 
Surprising even himself, he attended an informational meeting, and when the local area director invited him to club, Tindall went because he sensed God’s irrefutable direction.
 
“I knew this was not about me. It was about God and what He was asking me to do — clearly taking me out of my comfort zone,” Tindall said. “And I have learned that when God gives you the opportunity to do something, it’s probably a pretty good idea to do it.”
 
Today, Tindall is the senior leader at Ponderosa High School in Parker, Colo. Area Director Scott Werkmeister said, “Dave is a remarkable testimony of someone who says, ‘Lord, show me what to do,’ and [then] he does it.”
 
Under-the-hood hangout
Before being introduced to Young Life, Tindall was very involved in a local speedway and participated in races on most weekends. Tindall said he spent a lot of time and money doing it and acquired a lot of equipment. So it’s easy to see why his 2,000-square foot garage is a popular hangout for guys and how his extensive capabilities and equipment have paved the way for a ministry he never expected.
 
Tindall’s ministry has shifted into high gear as he’s opened his garage to anyone who needs it — whether they have car troubles or just want to hang out and get a little grease under their nails. There is one “shop policy” Tindall is very clear about: When kids come to the garage for help on their cars, they will drive away knowing how to make the repairs.
 
“God has graciously given me abilities in that area,” Tindall said. “[Kids] have my ability and willingness to help them, but whether it’s simple maintenance or changing a whole engine, I want them to learn how to do it themselves.”
 
Tindall’s garage is also home to “The Limo,” an old limousine Tindall found for sale “amazingly cheap” after he and Werkmeister had joked about finding a limousine as a way
to transport more kids to Young Life events. Tindall found the limo in the very spot where kids had boarded a bus bound for Young Life camp. Certain that the limo is a gift from God, Tindall frequently dons a chauffeur’s cap as he drives kids to club and other events.
 
Werkmeister said Tindall’s ministry goes beyond the garage. “Anything Dave owns is used for ministry regardless of time, cost or inconvenience,” Werkmeister said. “He also always pays for himself and at least one kid to go to any camp he attends, which is sometimes four or five camps a year. And Dave will never take a job that will not allow him to take off whenever he is needed in a kid’s life.”
 
Eternal tune-ups
There are always plenty of kids (and sometimes even their dads) busy in his garage. From routine maintenance to complete overhauls, Tindall has seen it all, and he looks at every job — big or small — as an opportunity to share Christ.
 
“God designed us to be in relationship with Him,” Tindall said. “Unfortunately, our bad choices and neglect cause wear and tear on our lives that lead to breakdowns and failures. But, Jesus’ promise to those who have a relationship with Him is that He will maintain us, provide for our well-being and always walk alongside us. He keeps us in tune with who He designed us to be.”
 
For Tindall, every car has a story and so does every kid. Over the years, he’s collected some of the worn-out and broken parts as reminders of the work at hand. “I keep them as precious souvenirs to remind me of the broken parts of our lives. All too often we don’t know what is broken, just that something’s not right. These broken car parts remind me of the importance of knowing the One who can fix us.”  
 
And that’s the nuts and bolts of the Gospel right there in Tindall’s garage.