Interview by Larissa Chelius Nomination & Photography by Heather Wanninger of Sweet Lemonade Photography Illinois
The Nomination: Jordan is a 3-sport athlete in high school while also taking grades seriously and being highly involved in church, youth group and volunteering among other activities. He is strong in his faith and quick to share what lessons he learns through studying the bible. He's a great all-around young man!
What three sports do you play? I play football, basketball, and baseball.
How has being in youth group changed you? It has made me a better leader. In youth groups, there are times where people don’t feel comfortable sharing their ideas or beliefs and I have learned to step up and throw in my opinions and ideas. This creates a more comfortable atmosphere for everyone because now people feel better about sharing what they have to say. Youth Group has also changed the way I go after a religious lifestyle. This occurred in 7th grade church camp; this was the moment that I truly realized I needed a savior. I have been raised in a family where my grandparents were pastors and my whole family was very faith-based. I always understood to believe the stories of the bible, but at this camp, I finally learned that it is about our relationship with Jesus that makes us different. I figured out that I had to invest in a relationship with Jesus like I do with everyday friends. This has been vital in me developing as a Christian and making me joyful with this newfound hope I had.
What volunteer projects have you taken part in? My favorite volunteer project that I have taken part in is when my church ran a vacation bible school (vbs) in a trailer park. We spent one day walking door to door to meet people and give them flyers about the event. This event was completely free and ran solely by my church and the volunteers. I was able to help with moving things around and organizing/setting things up as well as participate as a teacher in one of the ‘stations’ we did for the children. This was a great experience because it helped me get out of my comfort zone as well as learn that all the glory of those events truly goes to God. No one person claims or asks for credit, we just all give it to God.
Would you recommend others to take part in youth group? Yes, it will change your life; you get to meet new people that are so genuine and care about you as a person. It gives you confidence to go into your school as a Christian and to be different because you see that you aren’t alone. One of the biggest helps from youth group is that when you’re around multiple other God-loving people that invite God’s presence into the room, God will speak through them. If everyone allows God to speak through them and put things on their heart, the atmosphere is so awesome, and you are directly hearing from God.
Do you have a saying or a story that you like to live by? If so, what is it? “Rules without a relationship lead to rebellion”; I love this saying because it shows that when we go into life without God on our heart and mind, we are bound to break His commandments for us. God has these set in place to protect us and to keep us pure and holy with Him. When we are daily in His word and actively pursuing a relationship with Him, it will make following His commandments so much easier.