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Something Better in Mind

“Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established.” Proverbs 16:3 ESV


It’s been over three years since the Jesus Connection started and about five years since God first called me to reach young adults. My, how things have shifted!


At first, I had no clue what I was doing. Of course, I thought I was doing what God and I had planned. However, the last few years, especially last year, He has proven to me the truth to His Word, “My ways are higher” (see Is. 55:9). He has shown me my ideas were good, but His are better. My scope was fine, His is greater. My methods may bear fruit, His will bear fruit.


Many of you have been with me since the beginning, others have joined more recently; regardless of when you came, I am thankful you are here. Several of you have asked about TJC beyond what I share in the newsletters, so I wanted to take some time to explain some of the “God shifts,” including TJC’s scope, and what ministry looks like on a “typical” day.


Bible open to Romans 11 with handwritten notes on notecard lying on top

When TJC began, it was a lot of doing on my part. Meeting as many people as possible, attending young adult gatherings from other churches/ministries and organizing my own, like Bible studies and game nights. As you can guess, this hamster-wheel approach quickly led to burnout and meager fruit. Not entirely bad (solely because of God), just not what He envisioned.


Thankfully in this time, God connected me with great people, many of whom are with the Missionary Church and Ignite Network (shout-out to my coach Amy!). Through them, God has helped me see His disciple-making approach. Ask questions, seek where the Spirit is working, build relationships and run with those who have gone/are going all-in for Him (the disciple-able).


Once this became the focus, God started to work. And I mean, work! With Jesus’ model at the core of the ministry, doing is no longer the priority, but being in the flow of the Spirit.


So what does this look like? Rather than events, it is intentionally engaging in spiritual conversations as I go. It is leaning into tension with the disciple-able and seeking how God is leading them. It is equipping them to go out and make disciples. It is partnering with others to reach the next generation.


Is God calling you into an uncomfortable shift? Trust me, you want to lean in. Who knows who is watching and who He will reach as a result. They, and most importantly, HE is worth it.

God has also broadened TJC’s scope: yes, focus on young adults, but do not neglect the older generations. Initially I had doubts because I thought this meant I had misheard God when He called me to start a YA ministry. Yet, after extensive prayer, He led me to His Word. Romans 11. I still have the notecard.


Just as Paul was called to reach the Gentiles, he used his ministry to also reach the Jews, hoping the more Gentiles came to salvation, the more it would provoke the Jews to the same. Yes, TJC is for young adults, but through His saving them, God will also use it to provoke those older to go all-in for Him.


This shift has rocked my world and drawn me closer to the Father. It is also what He has used to mold TJC into what it is today: a ministry bent on equipping people to be and make disciples. The shift hasn’t been easy, but oh so worth it. Is God calling you into an uncomfortable shift? Trust me, you want to lean in. Who knows who is watching and who He will reach as a result. They, and most importantly, HE is worth it.



References:


English Standard Version Bible. (2001). Crossway Bibles.


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