A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to serve alongside college students to help families and individuals recover from the damage of Hurricane Harvey in Texas. What a joy and privilege it was. Many had lost a significant amount of their life’s belongings because of the flooding and devastation.
However, the real blessing was meeting Mrs. Elaine!
Mrs. Elaine was one of the homeowners our group from Middle Tennessee State University got the opportunity to help. We helped get her house warm again by replacing insulation and dry wall. However, there was so much more for us to learn over those few days than construction methods.
What we experienced was a woman who truly KNEW Jesus!
Have you ever met anyone who talks about Jesus like they really know Him? The way this individual says His name, what this person says Jesus told her that morning, and the way this person listens to His Word reveals so much. It is in these things we know Jesus is not simply a part of her life—rather, He IS her life.
This was Mrs. Elaine.
What a profound impact this woman made on the lives of the young adults I served with! They all noticed her deep love for Jesus and how He continues to carry her amid some of the most trying months of her life.
Young adults need to hear others speak about really KNOWING Jesus.
Paul reminds us in Philippians 3:8a “More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” (CSB)
Here are three reminders for young adult ministry leaders as we journey alongside young adults who are pursuing Jesus.
1. Jesus is not simply a part of your life; He is your life.
It’s easy for us to compartmentalize our lives to the point of everything having its own separate segment of the way things are done. We often think of our work life, our school life, and our relationships as independent, and we do little to see how they are uniquely connected. However, Jesus never said to follow Him and give Him part of your life. Jesus calls us to follow Him, give up everything, and give Him our life (Luke 9:23-27).
2. Jesus understands your circumstances and struggles of life.
When we know someone truly understands what we have been through, it makes that relationship go to a level that gets more real. Young adults have countless questions about navigating a culture that does not always recognize the need for a relationship with Jesus.
However, Scripture shows us that Jesus does understand the trials we face in a world that does not recognize Him. Hebrews 4:15-16 reveals the heart of a Savior that is not distant, but is present in the middle of our trials and sufferings.
3. It takes daily disciplined interaction with Jesus to truly know His heart.
In a season of instant gratification, this intimate relationship with Jesus does not come through small snippets of spending time with Him. To know Jesus and His heart takes intentional daily interaction with Him and His word. As young adult ministry leaders, we must not only model this for those we get to journey with, but we must also challenge them to be spending time with the scriptures and in prayer.
Mrs. Elaine walks with Jesus moment by moment, and it’s obvious by the way she talks about Him. How my heart yearns for myself and the young adults I walk with to KNOW Him in the same way!
Mark Whitt is a collegiate minister with Baptist Collegiate Ministry at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tenn. Connect with Mark via Twitter.