Standing in the Right Place

Posted on by Heidi Brunsting

By Preston Adams, Juvenile Justice Ministry Director

"Anyone who wants to serve me must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me."  John 12:26 NLT

This verse takes place during the Passover Feast, and is shortly before Jesus' death. It appears as though Jesus is teaching His followers about sacrifice, service, as well as physically where to be....

My hero is Father Gregory Boyle (founder of the world's most successful gang intervention program) and he has this to say in one of his books, “The strategy of Jesus is not centered in taking the right stand on issues, but rather is standing in the right place--with the outcast and those relegated to the margins.”

Jesus’ words and Father Greg’s words speak of a literal place, with people who are outcasted, marginalized, and disenfranchised (the very people Jesus spent most of his time with), as well as, a figurative place, standing with those people, being one with those people, and standing in unity with those on the margins, hoping that the line between “them,” and “us,” can slowly be erased.  

This is what we are trying to do with YFC/JJM. We are attempting to “be where Jesus is,” and we know He is on the margins with folks who have been outcasted. So, we will continue to be with young people like Roderick.

Roderick’s from Africa, and Roderick’s father recently moved to the United States to be in relationship with him. Roderick has had significant gang struggles in the past, but Roderick is looking to make strides in living the life he has always hoped for. Roderick and I have been working together for a couple of years now and have developed a deep relationship.

Roderick is now on parole and a couple of weeks ago I picked him up to go look for jobs. When I arrived at Roderick’s house, Roderick’s dad wanted to speak to me: “I really appreciate everything you do/have done for my son. You guys are brothers now and I cannot thank you enough.”

I did not do anything special, just stood at the margins where Jesus is, and in doing so, my life and hopefully Roderick’s life, have been forever changed.

Thank you for being a part of the ongoing conversation with youth in our city and helping us share God’s story with young people like Roderick.  It's our honor to be the storytellers on your behalf who meet kids right where they are and give life to their story.

Providing young people in our community with the opportunity to make an informed decision to be a follower of Jesus Christ and become part of a local church.

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