Presenter: Ryan Kolander

in Retreat Info

Ryan Kolander


Since 2016, Ryan Kolander has served as pastor at Palabra de Vida in Southwest Detroit’s diverse and beautiful neighborhood.

Before that, he assisted in bilingual, multicultural missions and congregations in Mexico, Virginia, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. God has given him a wonderful wife, Dr. Sarah, whose intelligence and focus keep him grounded.

Together, they have two girls, Ella (2 years) and Nora (6 months). He is passionate about being with people and getting to know them. He also loves being with his family, learning, leading, doing archaeological trips, playing basketball, and playing piano.


BRIEF STUDY DESCRIPTION: “Never Alone: Jesus is with me?”

Matthew’s religion had been formal. Like most Jews in his day, Matthew grew up learning that if he did the right things, and got all the certificates, and was a good person, he would be “good with God.”

But then he grew up. He had to make tough decisions and maybe even loosen God’s commands to fit his need to make money and friends.

As the years went by, in the thick of his career as a tax collector, cheating people out of their money, he likely realized how far he’d fallen from what God actually demanded in his Law. 

Then he met Jesus. Maybe rather, Jesus met him. And everything changed. What did Matthew, who grew up religious and fell away, see in Jesus that drew him in? Many in our world have grown up with some semblance of religion and religious certification.

Our grandparents maybe even told us, “If you’re in the Church, if you have your requirements, if you’re a good person, God loves you.” But you’re really not a good person, not even close.

What is it about Jesus that draws you to him? Let’s walk alongside Matthew and see Jesus through that lens. He fulfills our religious requirements and brings about an entirely different thing