A Really Cool Church Dude

Posted on by Heidi Brunsting

By Preston Adams, Juvenile Justice Ministry Director

We, at YFC, are in such a privileged position, for we have the opportunity to truly meet youth who are in tough places. And it is not just youth in tough places, but youth who have little to nothing; youth who have been severely marginalized, ostracized, and literally forgotten. Moreover, we do not just "meet" youth, God blesses us with the opportunity to build incredible relationships with youth, and some of these relationships may be the only trusting, consistent and impactful relationships these youth have ever had. 


Take my relationship with "Mark" for example. "Mark" has been at Lookout for the past two years and has been incarcerated for much of his teenage life. Mark is from East Denver and is an active gang member. One day while meeting, Mark asked me to start working with one of his best friends. So a few days later, I sat down with his best friend. Here is a little snapshot of our conversation: 


After "Fernando" had finished sharing most of his life story with me:


Fernando: "Bro, I don't really trust anyone..."


Me: "I get that. So why then did you just share your entire life story with me??”


Fernando: "Well because the only person I trust at Lookout is Mark and well, Mark doesn't trust anyone either, but he trusts you. So, I guess because I trust Mark, I thought I could trust you."


Me: "Well I really do appreciate you trusting me, or at least a little bit. Can I ask you, why does Mark trust me?"


Fernando: "I don't know bro. You know he doesn't believe in God because of all the things he has gone through, but he really trusts you and sees you as a really cool church dude.”


So that's what God does. He gives us the opportunity and ability to build incredible, intimate relationships with youth who typically do not trust anyone. 


I took some seminary students on a tour recently and one of the students asked me how I was able to gain the trust of these youth. While there are certain strategies and techniques that are necessary to aid in this process of building trust, the real answer is God. He is the one who has given us this privilege, and I do not take it lightly. 


Thank you for being a part of the ongoing conversation with youth in our city and helping us share God’s story.  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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