How a heart for youth ministry leads to finding growth and community.
Life’s harsh realities can hit hard once you graduate from high school. With friends and family wondering what your next step in life will be, it’s easy to feel directionless and overwhelmed by difficult decisions.
Jerica Braun was in a similar position when she donned the graduation cap and gown. But she was committed to being patient and waiting for God’s direction.
“I didn’t really know where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do,” Jerica said. “I was kind of at a loss. It hit me that I love to work with youth and junior high kids, but I didn’t know where the Lord wanted me to go. So I prayed about it and wanted Him to lead me.”
Jerica’s father heard about AFLBS through a colleague at work, and he told her about the local school.
“My dad said it was in Plymouth and I was kind of surprised because I live so close and I had never heard of it before,” Jerica said. “I started digging to see what it was all about and I really loved it.”
Jerica was attracted to the school’s friendliness and positive atmosphere. She thought that spending two years studying God’s Word would be an excellent way to begin her involvement with youth ministry.
Jerica’s favorite class this semester is Pentateuch, which studies the first five books of the Bible. Because she had grown up in a Christian home and faithfully attended Sunday School she felt like she had a solid handle on what would be taught in the class.
“I went into that class thinking that I already knew everything,” Jerica said. “But as we went on and studied deeper, Pastor Franz dissects the text and we are able to see more than what we would if we weren’t looking as close.”
Through her first several months at AFLBS, Jerica has felt God teaching her that He is the One who can be depended on.
“God has been showing me that He is the true provider and that He is the one who should be leading my life,” Jerica said. “He should be on the throne of my heart. Also, my satisfaction shouldn’t be found in anybody or anything else but Him.”
It can be easy for high school graduates to feel lost and without direction, but Jerica would encourage them to stay rooted in Christ and depend on His leading. Even if it means taking a year off.
Through it all, Jerica is grateful for her time at AFLBS. She appreciates the in-depth studies, the life applications, and the support system provided by being surrounded by so many other believers.
Patience paid off for Jerica, and she knows that Bible school is right where God wants her.