Jake Johnson | College Director | Denton Bible Church
Summer Staff Alumni
My Sky Ranch story began when I met a Sky Ranch staff member at Dallas Baptist University and she recruited me to spend my summer telling kids about Jesus at “the best place ever.” I didn’t even make it to my next class before I had two Sky Ranch staff texting me with an interview already lined up. It’s funny how things seem to be so coincidental in the moment, yet God is in total control of it all. Next thing I knew I was set to spend my whole summer in small town Van, TX.
I remember driving through the gates of Sky Ranch for the first time in the summer of 2015 without a clue as to how monumental my time at the Ranch would be. A bunch of extremely excited people were screaming at me as I drove up, and I wasn’t quite sure what I had gotten myself into. I didn’t know a single person and I had never experienced a Christian summer camp before that moment. To say it was a culture shock would be an understatement. But it wasn’t long before Sky Ranch felt like home.
I ended up spending 3 summers with the Ranch. My first in Van as a Counselor and my final two with Quest Colorado at Horn Creek. I left each summer thinking to myself, “That was the best summer of my life!” Only to have the following summer blow it out of the water. For anyone that’s been around Sky long enough, they know that God is in the business of shattering expectations.
The Lord transformed me through countless challenges and friends over my three summers with Sky. I learned that life as a Christian isn’t about me, it’s about Christ. I learned that I’m not here to make a name for myself but I’m looking to make a name for Christ in every conversation, every meal time, every dance party, every competition, and every time I fly around on a jet ski with a camper. I learned that discipleship is a lot more simple than we make it out to be. Jesus discipled his 12 by letting them into His life and using every moment as a teachable moment. The reason we don’t disciple is not because we don’t know how, it’s because we don’t want to. We let our pride, laziness, and fear get in the way of God using us in the lives of others. Sky Ranch strips away every distraction and excuse in order to let Jesus have center stage through the biblical model of discipleship.
I am only one summer removed from my wonderful time with Sky Ranch, but everything I’ve learned and experienced is still with me. I am currently the College Director at Denton Bible Church. My job now is not quite as fun as a day in the life at Sky Ranch, but many things are the exact same. The same Gospel preached to Sky 1 kids is the same Gospel preached to college students at UNT. The same God that changes lives within the gates of Sky Ranch is the same God that changes lives all over the world. I consider it the greatest privilege of my life to be known and to make Him known wherever He leads me.
The Lord used countless people throughout my three summers to mold me into the man I am today. I cannot thank Sky Ranch enough for believing in me as a young, inexperienced counselor. I cannot thank Sky Ranch enough for challenging me to be the manager of Quest Colorado when I felt inadequate. I cannot possibly thank Sky Ranch enough for providing a place for kids, families, AND staff to know and follow Christ.