Youth Pastor's Page

 

 

 

 

Information from our Youth Pastors

 
     
 
 
 

 

Youth Pastor Greg Johnson:

 

 

Greg Johnson: 11/18/2008

It is such a wonderful blessing for me to serve our youth.  The youth at this church are a special group.  They are diverse and yet they are close. They are very thoughtful of one another.  Throughout my adult life I have desired to have children of my own and to date, I don’t.  But, considering our youth; I do have kids, a whole bunch of ‘em.  They have different gifts/talents.  Our job as pastors is to help them identify those gifts and talents and to help them get activated. 

(1 Cor. 12:7-11 7Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines)

 

Our youth face many issues today that we didn’t have to face 20 years ago.  They are bombarded from every direction to be conformed to the modern ways of this world.  It’s difficult sometimes to help them sort out the issues they struggle with and to help them see the light of Jesus Christ.  This world wants them and God wants them.  It’s like a tug of war and they are in the middle being pulled.  Our job as youth pastors is to show them the ways of God versus the ways of the world.  We are assigned to show them the warning signs of destruction and help them veer from danger by showing them the “Destination” signs of God.  God’s signs are signs of LIFE!

(Rom. 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will).

 

Before I moved to the Kansas City area in ’98 I had a dream.  I was living in Morton, Illinois and was attending an Assembly of God church there.  I was in fervent prayer that week.  I was praying for a 17 year old girl who was dying of terminal cancer.  That whole week I felt the presence of God around me.  I was very sensitive to His Spirit.  I remember that week like it was yesterday.  Anyway, I was awakened one night during that week by a disturbing dream.  In this dream I saw thousands of teenagers running in a big barren field.  They were running with all their might.  I looked across the field and I saw a bright light and silhouetted in that light was a huge cross.  I remember thinking it was great that these kids were running after the things of God and going for Him.  But, then I noticed a lot of them were being ensnared.  There were ugly dark gray hands coming up from the barren ground grabbing at them.  These hands had long pointed fingernails, rugged knuckles, and protruding veins on them.  They were grabbing the teens around their ankles and weren’t letting go.  Some of the kids were getting pulled down into the ground.  Some were pulled down to their knees, others to their waist, and yet others to their necks.  I also noticed that a few of the teens were hurdling the hands.  They were also stomping on the hands and crushing them.  These teens weren’t running the fastest, but they were making up the best ground, because they were evading the wicked hands.  It was weird.  It was like the teens were being chased by something.  The ones that were getting caught had a look of fear on their faces.  The ones that were evading the hands had a look of determination and peace on theirs.  There was a distinct difference between the two different types of teens.  I also noticed the teens that were getting caught were looking back at whatever was chasing them and the ones that were evading the hands had their eyes fixed on the Cross.  They didn’t even look at the hands as they hurdled them or crushed them.  They just kept their site on the Cross.  When I woke up I remembered the dream like it was real.  I started praying to God, because I was deeply saddened by the teens that were getting trapped.  God showed me I was going to be used by Him to help show teens the way.  He showed me my life before Him was a life of entrapment.  I had been there with the drug abuse, alcohol abuse, sexual immorality, parties, etc.  I knew what that life was.  It wasn’t life it was DEATH.  God showed me I was there and I knew how to get out of it.  I knew how to call upon Him and to allow Him to save.  I knew the warning signs of danger and I could relate with what today’s teens are facing.  I believe I am called of God to show teens the dangers of keeping there sites and focus on the world.  When they are constantly watching the world they “will” eventually get trapped.  God is raising up leaders who can help point people to the Cross.  Leaders who can help them get back up when they fall down.  Leaders who can help crush the hands of their captors to release them from bondage. 

(Phill. 3:12-14  12Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus).

 

I didn’t forget the dream.  I started thinking of ways I could get involved in Morton, Illinois.  I felt an urgency to get started and to get the word out.  I was supposed to start the ministry but not there, not yet.  Within a couple of months my boss called me and told me that Walgreens was opening a market in the Kansas City area and he wanted me to manage the local depot there.  I told him I wasn’t sure I wanted to leave Morton.  I asked him if I could have a week to decide.  Well, God had to shake me to get my attention.  I had yet another dream a few days later.  This dream showed a map of the United States.  In the middle of the map a little smoke started, and then a little fire broke out.  The fire burned for a little bit in that one spot, then it grew and started to spread throughout the whole map until it was burned up.  I woke up and realized that I had received my answer from God.  I was supposed to go to Kansas City, because the spot it started smoking and then burning was Kansas City.  I couldn’t wait to call my boss and tell him that I was taking the job.  I had such a peace.  I loved Morton and was very comfortable there.  I lived literally 3 min. from work and all I had was a 4-way stop sign between home and work.  I didn’t like the fact I was moving back to a large metro area with traffic and all.  But, that’s what God does.  He gets us out of our comfort zone and He launches us out to the masses.

( Jer. 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.)

 

I’ve been through a lot of triumphs and failures since I’ve come to the Kansas City area.  But, I can always mark my failures as the times when I had my eyes off of God and onto something else.  I want 20/20 vision for God so I can clearly see Him.  Our vision needs to be defined and it needs to be followed through to the end.  God expects me to lead as He leads me.  Keep our youth group, Toni, and myself in your prayers as we march onward to the Cross.

 

~Greg

less of me more of HIM