Pastor Jason, you have been at Crosspointe for 14 years (wow!) now, arriving as a 26-year old “newbie” and now a “seasoned” 40-year old. What would you, as the mature Pastor Jason, tell the young Youth Director Jason if you had the opportunity?
Well, I always mark my time at C3 by the age of my son, Jack. He was six weeks old when Becky and I arrived. Now, he’s 14 and here we are!
Looking back, a few messages come to mind. First, is the idea of “being bold”. By that I mean challenging students. Many of my students have gone on to grow in their faith. However, I’m especially thinking about those who are currently not walking with Jesus.
I still keep in touch with them and pray for them. I would love to “implore” them, as it says in Proverbs. As you walk alongside people, whether students or adults, it is sometimes almost embarrassing to say something, even though you know where their actions will lead.
So, that makes me want to plead with people, with wisdom and grace, to say “please don’t go down that road, please don’t go in that direction”. I think that is my, and our, Christian responsibility.
Second, I also think of shepherding in a different way now than back then. Initially, I encouraged people to focus only on Jesus as our ultimate Shepherd, and Pastor Matt, as the Senior Pastor of C3. I’ve grown in my understanding and realize that shepherding can be done through a multitude of wise and mature believers.
Third, I would also reflect on the expectations I had in ministry. I didn't have a “road to Damascus” kind of calling to ministry. I was baptized at age 6 and got serious about my faith at age 14 when my cousin was killed in a car wreck.
Then, the summer of my senior year in high school, I was hired to go around to churches in the area and do ministry work. By the way, I earned $600, $1 more than the reporting limit, and ended up paying $242 in taxes. In any event, I just loved it.
Getting to know the pastors, the people, the ministry—I fell in love with the idea in a vocational sense. So, from then on, it was just my plan to go to college, then to seminary, then to ministry. And God honored that plan.
God changed the details—we didn't expect to be at Crosspointe—but He has led us faithfully. I’ve seen some students become almost paralyzed with trying to discern God’s plan for their lives. I encourage people to pray, to align their plans with scripture, and then just go.
So, my expectations of ministry here at C3 have been more than exceeded. I, and my family as well, feel loved and supported. Crosspointe has been phenomenal to us.
Even so, I have experienced the reality of spiritual warfare. In a way, those spiritual attacks by Satan have been more intense, and more supernatural, than I expected. Yet, I have been sustained by the prayers of the righteous.
I also have been sustained by the blessings of ministry. Two in particular that come to mind are my first youth mission trip, in 2008, where the Spirit moved mightily. It was a turning point for the youth ministry, and those students, for the next 3 years.
More recently, preaching the other week to an almost empty sanctuary, yet with the church connected and vibrant was amazing. There was this supernatural sense of the church being together. It’s what you hope for as a pastor. It was exciting.
Thanks for the opportunity to share a few thoughts on a very fast 14 years. I look forward to responding to other questions in future sessions!