California Youth Pastor Takes Gospel to the Streets
By Julie Campbell
Most typical Christians don’t set out on the streets of inner-city areas in search of marginalized people who need Jesus. But Jordan Davis isn’t your typical Christian. Some might call him passionate, on fire, or even downright crazy. But this husband, father, and youth pastor at First Church of God in Fresno, California, isn’t fazed in the least by labels or criticism of his methods.
When he’s out in the mission field of his hometown of Fresno, Jordan said he takes his cues from the apostle Paul, who wrote, “For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
“People are sometimes hostile,” he admits. “I’ve seen people with their fists clenched, saying, ‘Oh, you want to talk to me about God!? My brother just died!’ I know it’s all stemming from brokenness or hardness of heart….I don’t plan on being hurt or killed in street evangelism, but yes, there is risk involved. I also keep the mentality that my life is not my own. I live for God.”
During the pandemic, Jordan started a YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/c/JordanDaviskingdomministry) where he posts his one-on-one evangelism experiences in hopes of encouraging other Christians to share their faith.
“I have been thanked by people I talk to many times,” Jordan says. “One guy was so excited. You could tell no one talks to him about faith. He said something like, ‘Man I haven’t talked about God with anyone in so long. It feels great.’”
Born and raised in a Christian home, Jordan wasn’t always as passionate about God as he is now. In fact, like many of the people he has witnessed to, he turned his back on his faith in his teenage years.
“I knew it would be a lot of work to reconcile all of the thoughts on which religion was right, and who God really was. I dreaded actually doing the work and, in my immaturity, chose not to,” Jordan explains. “Instead, I ran from God and all things having to do with his ways. I just wanted to have ‘fun.’ Due to this, my life became very toxic, full of addictions, and broken relationships.”
At age twenty-five, a broken Jordan Davis turned his life back to God.
“I chose to pursue God with all my heart. At first, I studied many faiths and avenues. The commitment to this has led me to where I am now and helped me to find the truth—that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. God radically changed my life…. I’m still a work in progress and believe in having a growth mindset throughout all of life. So really, growing in spiritual maturity is a lifelong journey and commitment.”
Jordan is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Christian ministry online through Anderson University.
Being a youth pastor during the COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenging job, but one Jordan is as passionate about as he is street evangelism.
“One way I have reached the youth and others during this time is through social media. I taught myself how to film, produce, and edit videos this year,” Jordan explains. “Pastor Greg Kendall (senior pastor at First Church) has been supportive…. While our congregation met on Zoom for several months, he has played at least three of my videos for the congregation to see as the Sunday message.”
No matter what situation we may find ourselves in this holiday season, Jordan offers this encouragement to the Church:
“I feel like we all have so much potential to do things of God through our faith. God has already told us to ‘go and make disciples’ and to ‘renew our minds to do the perfect, pleasing, and perfect will of the Father.’ We don’t need to wait on God for many things like this. We can start being effective in our faith right now. Just small acts of faith make a world of difference.”
Julie Campbell is an editor at Warner Christian Resources (formerly Warner Press) and a freelance journalist. A former city girl from Chicago, she enjoys country life with her husband, Russ, on a five-acre apple orchard in Madison County, Indiana. She is a blessed mom of three wonderful young adult children and one very spoiled white boxer.
*Feature (top) photo: Jordan leads his youth group on homeless outreach events about four times a year (except during the pandemic). They prepare bags with socks, lunch, toilet paper, and other essentials, then go and distribute them.