NEWS & PRESS RELEASES
Jon Marshall: Mentoring Men
After graduation, students move off the BBC campus, leaving the community of learning behind for service and leadership in the next phase of life.
For BBC graduate Jon Marshall, the next phase of life is bringing him back to campus as a Resident Director. In this role, he will join the campus community of learners by ministering to and mentoring the men of Shaffer Hall.
Jon recently earned both a Master of Arts and a Master of Ministry degree from BBC&S. In 2009, he earned his Bachelor of Science degree.
When he has a rare free moment, Jon is an avid reader, musician, cook, and Lego artist. He is also the praise team leader at New Life Baptist Church in Scranton.
I began college in 1997, attending a technical school to study television broadcasting in Tacoma, WA. I earned an Associate of Arts in Communications Technologies. I joined the U.S. Air Force and ended up doing a very similar vocation there, then I went back to school for business in the area of accounting, receiving an Associate of Arts in 2007.
After earning my A.A., I started to realize I wanted to do things that had an eternal purpose. I got a hold of my friend and previous pastor, Mark Steckiel. He suggested BBC to complete my training and fulfill this calling. I came out and something in me just said yes. I returned to Washington packed my stuff and drove cross-country. This began my relationship with BBC.
I felt called to be a pastor and not an accountant. In 2007, I began the rest of my bachelor's degree at BBC. I completed what was needed in time and graduated in 2009. I continued into my master's degree and eventually sought out two degrees - one in Counseling (M.A.) and a Master of Ministry. I walked for both of them in May 2013 at Commencement.
In 2009, the Scranton and Wyoming Valley Rescue Mission was planning to start a men's program and needed strong biblically minded men to live at the mission and work there as chaplains. I was approached to take a position by Phil Schultz, then the executive director. Over the years I have done various ministries within the context of missions there - everything from office work and running a "message and a meal" service to what I do now, which is teach, counsel, and engage men in our LifeChange program.
Everyday I work with men who have possibly been homeless, addicted and hopeless, who have committed themselves to a year of Christ-centered discipleship. We work through the hard things, such as relationships and our past, and come to grips with areas like what a real man of God is. It is a pleasure and a joy to be able to grow alongside these men in their journey to recognizing the potential that God has placed in them as His sons and for His church.
My wife and I learned there was a need for new RDs at BBC, so we applied. We were going to be placed in Christen. Because it is being renovated, it was decided we would be placed in Shaffer along with the men from Christen. Since I am a Shaffer-ite, I could not be happier to be placed in the dorm I once called home.
I am excited I will be there for these young men at a vital stage in their lives. They are trying to figure out what it means to be out of the house of mom and dad and what it means to strive for themselves. This is a tough time as there are a lot of decisions that need to be made that they now have to face for themselves. I look forward to the crazy conversations, the impromptu counseling, and ultimately the aspect of guiding a young man to a point where he is making wise decisions (even if he made bad ones to get there).
What I desire from parents, family members, and church members is their prayer. Prayer for the student they have sent to BBC. Prayer for their dorm mates, as they will be interacting with them like siblings. Prayer for my wife and me as we will be there for them during the hours classes are not in session. And finally, prayer for the direction their son is going. Even though a direction seems right, there might be course corrections along the way. If I didn't have a mother and father who supported me through prayer, as well as with their words, I probably would not be in ministry today.
One of the goals I have for the residence hall is that these young men begin to understand what it is to be a man of God, humbled in character and strong in relationship. Obviously not every student will get there at the same time. I personally spent years trying to understand this, even though I had excellent counsel. Where this begins is in speaking and living truth to these men and letting the Holy Spirit do the rest.
Baptist Bible College & Seminary offers an outstanding Christian education through on-campus, online, and other distance learning options. Students go beyond the ordinary, learning to serve with excellence as they gain critical leadership and life skills.
To learn more, go to www.bbc.edu or call 570.586.2400.
Posted on: 6/28/2013 4:35:02 PM
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