Jonathan Newman

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I was first introduced to Cru in college at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where God used community, summer mission trips, conferences, and my involvement as a student leader to grow my love for Him and expand my view of His mission to make disciples of all nations. After graduating in 2012, God led me to intern with Cru working full time with college students for the past two years, the first year in East Asia and the second year at Cal Poly. 

I was on staff with the general ministry of Cru at UC Berkeley 2014-2018 and was challenged and learned a lot, having many valuable experiences and relationships. In the summer of 2018, the Lord led me to transition to working with Athletes in Action, a ministry under the umbrella of Cru, in which the mission is to launch spiritual movements everywhere through the platform of sports. Student-athletes have unique challenges and areas of brokenness, and yet have such an amazing platform with their audience and their teammates to represent Christ and point others to find their identities in Him. And sports ministry has powerful a way of transcending ethnic and cultural barriers and bringing those who are different in close proximity to one another.

In light of the more diverse environment and friendships from my first few years in Berkeley as well as growing racial tensions in our nation, God laid on my heart a deep desire to pursue racial bridge-building and advocacy for people of color in my work and relationships. Athletes in Action will enable me to have a more specialized role in an arena where those concerns are even more crucial. Oneness in Diversity is one of the top priorities of AIA nationwide. It is not about filling seats with certain faces in order to check off a box, but it's about becoming a community of unhindered closeness across ethnic and cultural differences. Our desire is to create space at the table for shared power and representation across diversity. The heart of this ministry of reconciliation is to reflect and honor the image of God and to become a more credible witness. 

These are some scriptures that have guided me on my Oneness journey: 

  • The heart of Oneness is to move towards what Jesus prayed in John 17 to the Father that we “may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” 

  • The body of Christ is meant to operate as a family and embody solidarity for one another regardless of distance or difference of experience. "there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it." 1 Corinthians 12:25-26

  • There can be no true worship of God while neglecting justice in our midst. "Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps. But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!" Amos 5:24-25 

Aside from mentoring and discipling students, leading small groups, and pursuing relationships with not-yet believers on UC Berkeley's sports teams, I will be leading out of my passion for Oneness and Diversity. Specifically, my vision is to see:

  • Staff and student leaders able to build bridges well across ethnic and cultural barriers on athletic teams
  • Leaders of color raised up among staff and students, ideally to be representative of the ethnic diversity among athletes at Cal
  • A community that reflects the image of God well and more people coming to faith because of continually and humbly growing in racial awareness and solidarity

Your partnership can make both an immediate and an eternal impact on the lives of these students and their spheres of influence!

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