Jared Thomas of Texas is evangelizing people in Texas. Texas is in the heart of what we in America call the “Bible Belt.” The Bible Belt is so called because most people in this area attend church, identify themselves as Christians, and have a history and tradition of doing so.
But in his testimony, Jared explains why evangelizing people is uniquely challenging in Texas. People believe in God, but often don’t know the God they believe in.
My name is Jared Thomas. I am currently living in Denton, Texas in the United States of America. Doing ministry in Texas is unique in a way because there are thousands of different churches, and the people who don’t go to church believe in God at different levels.
Even Jared didn’t believe in God when he was young, despite growing up in a Christian family. In fact, as Jared tells, it took the challenge and courage of his church’s youth leader to finally bring him to Christ.
I grew up in a Christian family and I became a Christian when I was 16 years old. Even though I grew up in a Christian family I didn’t always believe in God. I thought people went to church to get psychological encouragement because they were not able to deal with the challenges of life. I viewed Christians as weak, insecure people who needed the church to give them rules and to tell them what to do. But by Gods grace, things changed. When I was a teenager in high school, my youth pastor asked me to study the Bible. I agreed to study more out of curiosity about the Bible, not the desire to know the Bible. My youth pastor knew this, yet he constantly showed me evidence of God and the Bible. He would show me historical proof of the Bible and scientific evidence of God. At the age of 16, I decided to make Jesus Lord of my life and I was baptized on October 30, 2009.
Jared realizes that there are already many people evangelizing people in the U.S., and God’s laid a different passion on his heart. Jared’s passion is for countries where governments are trying to suppress the word of God. His ministry dream is to go where even being identified with Christ could send you to prison, or even death!
My spiritual or ministry dream is to go to countries where the gospel is not allowed to be preached and give the people there an opportunity to know God. I also have a desire to serve the poor in poverty stricken countries. The word that I identify with is the Word small group leader. I love leading small groups and seeing the group being unified for God. The key experience that has shaped my walk with God was when I go to other countries for mission work to help the churches and the poor. Some unique challenges that I have noticed in my area is the fact that there are a lot of people and students that identify themselves as christians. Yet there life does not demonstrate the life of Jesus and the Bible is not there standard. The Bible calls us to repent of sin and to live a life like Jesus. My local church has helped me with this calling because I have seen the blessings and rewards of what happens when the whole church is called to have the Bible as there standard.
Despite not personally believing in Jesus till he was 16, Jared was able to receive a good testimony from his parents and his brother. Their lives inspired him to follow the calling of Jesus on his life. And his calling inspired him to seek biblical training to show himself approved and ready for every good work.
A scholarship to CLI will be a great benefit to me because to will give me the knowledge from the Bible that I will need to be more effective in ministry here in Denton, TX and around the world. My prayer is that more men and women from Denton, TX will have big spiritual dreams for God.
Your calling may be evangelizing people, like Jared’s, but it doesn’t have to be. No matter what your spiritual calling is, Christian Leaders Institute has courses that can help you become more effective in your ministry. Click here to enroll in courses today and see for yourself!