Brian Jones | Church Planter | Resonate Church
Summer Staff Alumni
I was the kid with the nice Christian family and went to different youth campuses throughout my teenage years to play, chase girls, and learn about God. I arrived to college at 18 with some pretty heavy baggage from mistakes I had made my senior year of High School. I thought it would eventually go away if I played enough video games, lived out my glory days playing football in college, and if those didn’t work then surely my girlfriend could fix me.
Running on empty in my second semester of college, through the thumping of R&B in my room, I hear my roommate walk in and say, “Guyyssss, I got a summer Job!” He went on to explain that there is a camp that hires college students to hang out with kids for the summer, blob them, and teach them about Jesus. He told me to come into his room and watch some videos about this summer camp called Sky Ranch. We were a minute into the first video and I was certain that I saw a glimpse into my future. It was like I was seeing images of the life I wanted to live while being trapped in a life I wanted nothing to do with. A life of purpose that could draw out all of the quirky things I love.
I was graciously interviewed on the phone, having missed the staff team that came to my campus by only a few hours. I got phone call a week or so later notifying me that I had a summer job. I don’t think I really have felt the weight of that phone call and its trajectory changing power until now, feeling my fingers press these buttons on my keyboard.
I showed up to camp with swoopy hair, scared out of my mind. Everyone knew all these dances and I rode on a trailer with a girl who could rap and make everyone smile. What I didn’t understand then that I now see is that Sky Ranch took a risk on hundreds of college kids that didn’t have it all together, but who were all just as insecure inside as me. But they brought us to camp to struggle together toward a goal bigger than ourselves.
It was a summer of learning to die to myself so that middle school kids could see Jesus, and with a camp manager named Clinton who really cared about me enough to ask me hard questions with the aim to push me to freedom in ways I felt captive. This is when I really experienced how Jesus actually sees me.
It didn’t stop there, they invited me back three more summers in a row. I spent my college summers being challenged in new leadership positions and building some of deepest relationships I have even to this day.
Sky Ranch taught me how to think critically, live with a balance of love, compassion, and challenge. I became an excellent question asker and seeker of people. With each leadership opportunity came a new desperation for Jesus, and the reigns to creativity and design. They taught me how to bring a group of people together to pull off ridiculous things. My mind and heart were transformed with each blistering day of Texas heat and Colorado mountain wonder.
10 years later I am now a Church Planter and Executive Director of Summer Projects for Resonate Church. We deploy college students to 5 different states and even internationally to grow as leaders, make disciples, and transform communities. This past year we deployed over 350 college students. So much of who I am, the culture that we multiply into our network, was birthed and forged at the hands of Sky Ranch. It is not an overstatement that Sky Ranch’s investment in me has started a spark on the college campus that will transform the lives of generations of people.