Many people never forget the most important decision of their life, accepting Jesus as their Savior. Some can even recall the details: how old they were, the place, the date, and the year. And one of the most significant details is who guided them in that decision. When Jordan Nevares received salvation, there was a place and time, but who led him to that moment were multiple people in Young Adults Ministry who walked with him through a year-long journey.
“If it weren’t for people in Young Adults opening up their hearts to somebody like me, I wouldn’t be where I am now,” Jordan said.
Straight out of college, Jordan dove into the corporate world. Work quickly became his identity and focus. He was searching for a greater purpose in life. If it wasn’t going to be found in his job, then where?
Jordan’s friend Megan Kimble, a member of Bellevue and Young Adults Ministry, was aware that Jordan wasn’t religious, and she suggested that he try going to service and a Young Adults Life Group. Jordan agreed, hoping he could finally find the answers he was looking for.
Religion was a foreign concept to Jordan. When he was younger, he had been to church a couple of times with his grandma, but he had no real reference point for what authentic faith looked like.
“There were a lot of things I was apprehensive about, things I’d never done before like worship and prayer, so I didn’t know how to go about them,” Jordan said. “I tried to not let the first couple of experiences overwhelm me and just tried to be transparent about the fact that this was something I was new to.”
What Jordan received in return was an embracing of his uncertainty and unfamiliarity. In Young Adults, he found people who accepted his background and people he could relate to. He encountered friends, supporters, and encouragers. Ozzy Wei, a former Ministerial Assistant in the ministry, had Gospel conversations with him. Young Adults Director Tanya Franks prayed for him. Former Young Adults Pastor Andrew Cross consistently invited him to events.
“There was a lot of encouragement, just people that cared about me and made me feel like I was part of the community and that I could be a part of Bellevue,” Jordan said.
As Jordan settled into this new community, his outlook on faith and the church began to deepen. He joined a Discipleship Group and started reading through the Bible. He discovered greater purpose, and pieces fell into place—the narrative of the Bible, the character of Jesus, the reason for the cross, and the enormity of the Gospel. But it still was not entirely personal to him.
“There wasn’t a light switch moment,” Jordan said. “It was an evolution over time. It took some time for all of it to embed in my heart.”
Almost a year went by between Jordan’s first visit to Young Adults and his decision to accept Christ as his Savior. He wanted to ensure that he had the right motive. He had heard of other people being misled in certain churches, and he wanted to be in the right place with the right people. And he knew he was surrounded by the right people, an entire community who spurred him on and patiently pursued him.
“I felt comfortable in that community of people,” Jordan said. “I felt comfortable declaring Jesus as my Lord and my Savior and that I had a place in heaven.”
It happened one night when Jordan and Michael McDaniel went out to dinner. Michael, a friend and fellow member in Young Adults, was someone who had been asking Jordan the hard questions throughout his faith journey. As they talked over dinner that night, Michael posed more hard questions: “Where does your heart stand? Are you ready to give it to the Lord?”
“I just instinctively said, ‘You know, I think I’m ready right now,’” Jordan said.
Jordan had finally found his purpose and the ultimate answer. One month later, on October 1, he was baptized.
“It’s all just a testament to how well Young Adults Ministry can reach somebody,” Jordan said. “I tried to be open-minded as much as possible, but I think a lot of it was the effort people put into me.”
Since this next step, Jordan has continued to read God’s Word, be in prayer, and grow in his faith.