Stephanie Kram never expected to be leading a high school ministry, but God unmistakably called her to it. The fruit of the ministry testifies to that well enough: the meetings are overflowing capacity and tons of kids have decided to follow Jesus.
It all started one day when when Stephanie was scrolling through Instagram and noticed an account talking about something called Jesus Club. Fast forward to a little while later and she found herself listening to an out-of-town speaker at local church named Brian Barcelona. Brian just happened to be the founder of Jesus Club.
While Stephanie listened to this man testify to how God had been using Jesus Club to reach kids, she had what she can only describe as the most powerful encounter with God she’s ever had. She felt the Holy Spirit come over her and bear witness to her soul that she was supposed to do something similar in a local high school.
The high school she had in mind had a reputation as not being very friendly to ministries, however. Even local Young Life staff reported not being able to be on campus. Nonetheless, she felt led to pursue this particular high school as the site for her Jesus Club.
So prayerfully, Stephanie pursued and obtained a meeting with the school principal. The morning of the meeting she read in her Bible about Jesus instructing the apostles to not prepare anything to say before they were brought before leaders because the Holy Spirit would direct their mouths in the moment.
So Stephanie surrendered her preparation to God and prayerfully went to her meeting. In the meeting the principal initially seemed skeptical but stephanie was just straightforward about her intentions and her heart for his students. The principal seemed almost immediately change demeanors and began to tell her about several difficulties he was encountering among the student body. He then asked how she could help.
From this point, Stephanie was allowed to begin to pursue starting a club on campus. As soon as she stepped foot on campus, God began opening doors. Pretty soon after she entered the school, a young woman came up to her who remembered her from a previous job Stephanie had mentoring youth. This girl happened to be a follower of Christ, herself, and upon learning what Stephanie was up to, she told her about a teacher in the school who oversaw a Bible club.
Stephanie met with this teacher who then told her that the club had been dying and she had been earnestly praying for the Lord to send someone to spearhead a new effort with it. She also shared that the existing name of the club was Jesus Club–the very name Stephanie had in mind for the club and the name of the original ministry that had inspired it.
From there the club grew from a few students to 80 regular attendees and even more who have given their life to Christ in the few years since Stephanie stepped foot on campus. The club has had an impact on kids from virtually every walk of life.
Stephanie is joined by her husband Mark, who has taken on a leadership role alongside her and Jon Osterman (from episode 13). The couple shares several miraculous and encouraging stories from their time in Jesus Club. Listen to this week’s episode for the entire encouraging story!
- The teacher/club adviser who originally led the the club belongs to a small local church that have been praying for the kids of the school by name for years.
- The Krams shared with particular fondness their experiences sharing the love of Christ with members of a group of gay students. Some were enthusiastic about the invitation but one in particular seemed the least open in the group to attending the club but ended up giving his life to Christ.
- The club packs out two classrooms and the club leadership is actively petitioning the school administration to meet in the gym.