Worker Profile: Jhustin Thompson
Posted on March 7, 2023 by Jon Trotter
Service program: tranSend
Serving since: 2022
I serve in a college ministry assignment with Every Nation Campus (ENC) and VMMissions, and am sent by my congregation, Divine Unity Community Church (DUCC), Harrisonburg, Va. My work and goal is to show the love of God and be a light to campus. I want to see lives changed by the good news and do the work of God. Many students today don’t have faith, so this is an opportunity to give hope and show that there is someone to put their faith in. My pastor, Chris Johnson, says, “We need to be the work before we do the work.” I am changed by God and, in turn, I share the word and disciple people who will hopefully change and disciple others.
The way I do this is by organizing events and meeting with groups of students. There is a large group gathering at James Madison University each Thursday, and small groups at JMU and Bridgewater College where we dive into scripture, make observations, and ask questions from the text. Many times we ask God to lead us in what we do and talk about.
Another aspect of my ministry is being in charge of men’s events where we do fun stuff and lower the barrier to faith conversations. I coordinate teams and tournaments with sports like basketball, and plan recreation activities that connect students to ENC and DUCC. We have a “no meeting without eating” rule!
For me, the challenge has been fundraising, known as Ministry Partner Development. I see it as like dying to my flesh. It’s God’s job to help people see the value of supporting my ministry. My salary is from people who saw the vision God has for my life and support that. It’s a beautiful thing, but it doesn’t make the “ask” any less awkward.
The whole objective of this internship is to discern if this is what God is calling me to do. I have to sink in and trust God to provide for me. My assignment is part-time, and I have another job to help with expenses.
I love interacting with students and seeing their lives change. I love inviting people to experience life at DUCC and how they love being around our church. People are accepted there and witness the invitation into something deeper. I am always doing ministry stuff, inviting people to go out and do fun activities. Everyone is different, so I join people where they are in their comfort level with church and conversations about faith.
A lot of people grew up in church but weren’t empowered to do anything. We are big on discipleship. We want to equip people to be leaders to serve and make disciples. My joy is in seeing how much they learn and enjoy it, and how we invite them to join in our life together.
A typical week:
After morning devotional time, I go to DUCC and join with others serving in college ministry at a “tactical” meeting where we talk about events or special things we can do to engage students. We go around and pray out for everyone’s needs.
Then I head out to campus; I am usually at Bridgewater College. I talk one on one with students a lot of times. Many times they come to me if they have issues they want to talk about. I meet a lot of new people, and look for opportunities for God to open doors. I have small group twice a week on weekdays or weekends.
At the large gathering at JMU every Thursday at 7:00, it’s like a church service: someone welcomes people, we play creative games as icebreakers. There are announcements, worship, prayer, and then a sermon followed by a time of discussion. Then we enjoy fellowship. It’s held in a place that students can easily walk to and we always invite them to invite their friends.