“I have always heard, my whole life, that God loves me unconditionally and that if I follow his directions then that is good and everything will turn out OK,” said Josh, a fourth-year student at Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario.
But Josh doubted whether he measured up to God’s ways. Raised in church, he earnestly sought God and desired to share God’s love with others—but questions plagued Josh’s mind.
“I was wondering about my actual effect on others. Am I actually loving those around me? Am I doing as Jesus would do? How do I know?”
Striving and uncertain, Josh’s faith in God felt more like a test than a relationship of love and grace. “My identity was in what I could do for God,” said Josh. “Not perhaps in God himself or him in me.”
Josh pestered one of his friends with questions, but his friend didn’t know how to answer. He pointed Josh to Brian Bork, campus minister for Resonate Global Mission partner Waterloo Campus Ministry.
Following Jesus through Discipleship
Brian was a great sounding board. He listened to Josh’s questions and helped him find the answers. They began meeting regularly to talk, study books, and pray together.
“Brian is wonderful at pointing out and bringing up the many different ways God is and wants to relate to me,” said Josh. “When I come up with an issue ... he points me back to God in new ways.”
Through Brian’s discipleship, Josh learned his true identity as a follower of Jesus.
“I don’t have to struggle painfully to just be accepted, but my identity is found in [God] when he places his identity in me,” said Josh. “Brian helped me gain clarity and peace and excitement about [it]!”
And that’s just the start of Josh’s story. God showed Josh how he was at work in the Waterloo community and invited Josh to join him.
“The ‘Jesus died and rose again and we can go to heaven’ is only a portion of God’s story,” said Josh. “There is more, there is so much more. There is a whole life to be lived being poured into other people, learning from them, building communities with people from other backgrounds and faiths.”
Brian’s discipleship was so influential in Josh’s walk with Jesus that Josh now seeks to disciple others. He volunteers at Adventure 4 Change, a nonprofit in Waterloo that addresses issues of poverty. Josh helps run an afterschool program and a weekly youth night.
Josh said he believes the church can better follow Jesus by forming real relationships outside of the church community. “I hang out with some of the kids from the community,” he said. “Like an older brother.”
Your support of Resonate empowers disciples like Brian and Josh to make more disciples. Please pray for Josh as he forms relationships with young people in his community. Ask God to work through these relationships so more people come to know themselves as loved by God and saved by grace.