I can recall the first time I experienced VRBC’s mission of “Inviting Diverse and Disconnected People to Passionately Follow Jesus Together.” I was in 9th grade and showed up to my first ever Bible Study, still wearing my Boy Scout uniform. It was through a simple invitation that I got to see young men studying God’s word together and discussing the role of Christ in their lives. As a Christian, I felt like I checked the right boxes, but I hadn’t encountered such open and honest Christian community before. In retrospect, it was just J Tom (Jason Thomas), who couldn’t have been much older than I am now, leading a bunch of high school dudes. But in the moment, it was much more.
In the following years, my faith grew in so many ways. I was able to go on my first mission trip. I poured out my soul at Winter Weekend and found accountability. I helped lead worship. I was mentored, and I met some of my best friends. It was the perfect place to grow. VRBC’s student ministry didn’t change my life, but it helped me meet Christ and experience the Holy Spirit like never before… and that changes everything.