First Step of the Journey

October 1, 2019


I love how at Youth For Christ we don’t simply share the gospel and duck out. We celebrate when a student chooses to follow Jesus, but we also fully understand that a one-time decision doesn’t always translate to an authentic relationship with Jesus. The decision of salvation is the first step on a journey thick with distractions, slips, wandering, temptations, and a prowling lion that seeks to steal, kill, and destroy.

A young man, “Vince,” opted to graduate early and get his GED. He already had a history of legal trouble, and though he has claimed many times to have accepted Jesus and be a follower of Christ, his actions certainly aren’t a reflection of that. He had moved within the county down to Wabash a few months ago, and while I was in town I figured I’d message him and see how his new life “adulting” had been working out.

In the few short months away he’d been arrested again and found himself jobless. I took time to hear him out and listen to him blame everyone but himself for the circumstances he was in and hear about all of the mess going on in his life recently. I got to sit in the corner of a Taco Bell and pray over him and share a little devotional I’d read that morning.Then we got online to look at some job opportunities, some of which he seemed excited for, and I told him about some local churches he should check out.

The raw truth is not every student’s story is one of immediate dark to light life change. Some are stories of simply walking beside and loving students in the mess they’re in. In that relationship hopefully they can gather a greater picture of what following Jesus looks like. That’s my prayer this school year, that leaders will come forward who are willinging to trudge in the mess with students and, as it says in Galatians 6:1, “gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path.” Campus Life in North Manchester has some amazing things in store, and I cannot wait to see what God is going to do in some of these students journeys.

Brandon Johnson

Manchester Campus Life Director