Monday, June 20, 2016

Seniors 2016: Jon Kim

"Men of Cru, the women around you are your SISTERS. Guide them, protect them, love on them as you would your own blood sisters..... We want to see our sisters flourish, to become absolute beasts for the Lord!"
I sat down with Jon Kim this past fall and I could tell something was different.  Over the summer Jon had ridden his bicycle all the way across America.  There is no doubt it takes real fortitude to make it on that kind of adventure, but it was obvious that the journey had cultivated much more than physical strength.  Jon was different down to the soul!  

I’ve always known Jon to be faithful, funny and talented.  He’s smart and easy to get along with. From the moment he transferred into Cornell University as a sophomore he was a dedicated part of Cru. He is notorious in my book for showing up to the Community Group in College Town when literally no one else did! From day one, he was definitively "all in" as a servant leader in our Ministry.  But he came into his senior year with a whole new level of confidence and tenacity.  Jon came back more deliberate, assertive and diligent than he was before.
Jon and his girlfriend Jocelyn Lee
I remember asking Jon "Dude, what sermons or podcasts or audio books were you listening to while you rode your bike all summer?" His maturity was obvious and evident. Jon grew over that summer in a way that I have likened to "taking spiritual steroids!" I wanted his reading list so I could pass it along to other guys!
John came back to campus this fall with a renewed vision to help other people grow and thrive at Cornell; especially men.  Last year Jon was a big part of the Cayuga Heights Volunteer Fire Department -a testament to his adventurous spirit.   This year he decreased his involvement specifically so that he could spend more time helping and mentoring younger students.  Jon helps to lead one of our Community Groups.  These groups of 8-14 students get together each week to eat, study the Bible and talk about life.  Cru’s Community Groups help facilitate spiritual, emotional and social health. We believe these gatherings are very important, especially at a place like Cornell where the academic rigor and competitive environment tend to isolate and separate people.  Along with his friends Grant and Josh,  Jon helps other men to grow in their faith and understanding of God’s design for life.   

During his "senior share" he had some powerful words to share with his classmates. Jon talked about "growing up" and becoming a "man" of God as opposed to a "boy."

Making reference to 1 Corinthians 13:11 where Paul says, 'When I became a man, I gave up childish ways', Jon began by confessing the ways that 'boyish immaturity' and a general refusal to "grow up" and take responsibility had seriously caused other people pain. Throughout his life, self centeredness had facilitated sin that had hurt family and friends. Rooted in the gospel, Jon boldly recognized his faults. He continued; "My story of brokenness is also a story of redemption. I stand here because of God’s redeeming love. He has torn me from my old ways, he has taught me and re-taught me and continues to teach me how to put off my boyish ways and to put on the armor of God. To stand and fight. And we cannot fight on our own."

From there he proceeded to give tremendous exhortation talking about men as spiritual leaders and fathers. A father is responsible for setting the spiritual climate in his family, and for showing sacrificial love to his wife. He said "Where a father and husband and brother shirks his duties, brokenness and weakness follow. When a man is missing from his home, the family is at half strength. Now, (even if we aren't married with kids) we as men do have a family right now, and they are all around us: it’s the church. Jesus looks around at his disciples and followers in Mark 4:33 and says, “Whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.” In 1 Timothy 5:2, there are instructions for the church: “do not rebuke an older man, but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as SISTERS in all purity.”

"Men of Cru, the women around you are your SISTERS. Guide them, protect them, love on them as you would your own blood sisters..... We want to see our sisters flourish, to become absolute beasts for the Lord!"

Jon continued saying, "Another way to develop manhood: Go and WORK. Work for the good of the church. In Genesis Ch. 2, after God creates man, it says, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to WORK IT and TAKE CARE OF IT.” Men, you are designed to WORK, to be FRUITFUL, PRODUCTIVE, in a way that PLEASES THE LORD. Men, whatever they are in charge of, they must do it to the best of their ability for the glory of God. Men, you will set the spiritual climate in your homes when you have a wife and children. You also will set the spiritual climate in this family at Cru. Get involved. Get tired. Influential preacher Charles Spurgeon says, “A perfect man is a working man.” That was our design in the first place! We as men need to rise to the occasion!"
Jon definitely worked hard this year! As one of the main leaders of our music ministry he helped coordinate the numerous musicians ensuring that we had a group ready to play each week. (He also plays drums!)  Jon’s role required him to both organize logistics and take care of people.  He helped manage everything from scheduling to transporting of sound equipment to organizing the volunteer musicians and helping everybody to grow theologically.    
Jon is related to two of my other favorite people, David and Hannah Kim!! 
I am very impressed and very grateful for the way that Jon stayed so involved throughout his time here at Cornell.  Many seniors can tend to “fade out” but Jon is a man of endurance and character.  Week in and week out, he was walking alongside his friends and serving his fellow Cornell students in and through the ministry of Cru.

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