This week’s Crossings story is from Rev Brett Jones – National Superintendent & Minister of cession|community.
When Andrew came to see me in my office before Church, it came to me: he was lonely. A young adult school leaver, whose parents had escaped to Australia and a new job opportunity right before lockdown, he was suddenly thrust into doing life on his own. Lockdown hadn’t helped and his flatting situation was not filling the gap.
Before he left church that night he came back to see me. “You were right,” he said, “I am lonely but I didn’t realise it.” As the year had gone on Andrew had started to fill the gap with alcohol and drugs. He wanted out. While Andrew came from a Christian family, he was still wrestling with his own commitment. He is a keen outdoors, hunting-shooting-fishing type and the ministry offered through Pastor Mike Turinsky and the Young Life Hunting/Fishing camp had been a real point of connection.
We worked on a plan that got him more connected relationally at church working with a group of guys on our set-up crew. He quickly became an enthusiastic regular going above and beyond. We also talked about steps he could take to find and own his own faith.
It all came together in week 1 of the Witness series some months after this conversation. Cession Community had decided to run the WMCNZ Evangelism series pioneered by The Well and I was preaching out of Acts 2. I made the point that those who had travelled to Jerusalem for the festival did not come with any expectation of what was going to happen that day. Perhaps like some in the room at church that night, they had come for the feast but not for much else. The Holy Spirit spoke to Andrew in that moment and he experienced a moment of conviction that led him to pray for the first time to accept Jesus into his life. Afterwards, we talked and prayed together and he told me what had happened.
Currently, I am continuing to mentor Andrew on a fortnightly basis. He shared his testimony in week 4 of the Witness series. It was so encouraging to the church to see this young man share so confidently and enthusiastically.
What I loved was how the Crossing strategy played out so quickly and decisively! God is faithful!
Rev. Brett Jones– cession|community