I first met Jordan during my first year of being a middle school ministry volunteer during college. I remember our first conversation was about famous athletes and how their success and wealth didn’t seem to make them happy.
Jordan and I would have multiple other meaningful conversations during the rest of his time in middle school. My connection with him was about as strong as my connection with Adam (see my earlier post).
However, my favorite part about knowing Jordan is that our relationship has continued to develop after I left college and he entered high school. Here are a few highlights I’ve experienced with Jordan since he left my ministry:
- I’ve visited Jordan and his family at his house about two or three times a year. My time with them was always life-giving and full of fun, great food, and a lot of catching up.
- Jordan and I developed a tradition of attending a football game at my college once every fall. We would simply sit and talk about life during the entire game.
- I have watched Jordan take on leadership roles at school and at church. He helped start a student-led worship service featuring students from multiple local churches.
- A few months ago he came and visited me in my new hometown. I got to show him off to a bunch of people from my current church and never grew tired of saying, “This is Jordan. We met when he was in 6th grade and now he’s a senior in high school!”
- During his recent visit I sensed our relationship transitioning to a place where we will soon be more like peers as he enters college and matures into adulthood. Now that’s COOL!
A few weeks ago I made a three-hour drive to Jordan’s house for his high school graduation party. He was totally worth the trip. He’s headed to college this fall and will be studying engineering but he also hopes to learn how being a Christian intersects with being an engineer. He is well-rounded, respectful, fun, smart, and a hard worker.
On top of all that, and most importantly, he is still following Jesus and continues to grow in his faith. It brings inexplicable joy to my heart to see former middle school students following Jesus as young adults. I can’t take credit for it because a student’s spiritual journeys is controlled by God. Plus, I’ve been humbled by seeing other former students take a totally different path during high school (see my earlier post).
Regardless, I couldn’t be more excited for Jordan. He is ready to go out and change the world in the name of Jesus. I pray I will get to see more and more former students doing the same thing in the years to come. It’s the best part about middle school ministry.