My name is Julian Kramer and I am a nineteen-year-old college student. I have been attending GT Church for almost six years now. The last nine months I have been blessed to be a part of GTLA (GT Leadership Academy). I chose the worship ministry track and had the privilege of working alongside of our worship pastor, Dan Sarna. This last school year was challenging to say the least but the amount of growth I have experienced is incomprehensible. It was the farthest thing from easy but was so worth it.

Following the call that God has on your life is always a journey. Let me give you a back story. My freshman year of college I attended a private Christian university called Southeastern University in central Florida. Going into that year I was completely terrified. The pressure from the world that young adults feel during the college years of their life is heavy. The “standard” our world has set is you graduate high school and attend a four-year college the following fall. It is typical for someone now to feel “not normal” if they decide not to go to college or take a couple years to figure it out. I believe I chose Southeastern University as a quick decision because I wanted to go to college. The issue with that is, college costs money. Not just $25.00 but more like $25,000 (not including supporting yourself financially as a person.) In many ways, I felt confused why God let me go there and why this was a part of His plan for my life. I did not fit in well and was not growing the ways I expected myself to.

In August of 2017 (right before the beginning of my sophomore year) I decided not to return. The next question was “where to next?” I mean no offense Mom and Dad but living at home after living away for a year and while most of my friends are at a university out of state does not sound appealing to me. Then came along the idea of GTLA. I thought “why not?” and decided to apply. Sure enough, I was accepted. I had no idea how God would rock my world in the following 9 months. One of the biggest takeaways I got from this program was the incredible staff culture we have here at GT Church. As well as going to staff and service planning meetings, I have been blessed to be mentored by Dan Sarna. I have always been passionate about worship music and leading worship. I believe that this is something I will be doing throughout my life. The amazing thing is the lasting impact Dan will have in my future of worship leading and his willingness to continue to work with me even now after the program has ended. Having someone constantly believe in you and coach you is essential for growth. I have joked around with my friends by saying that I feel like I grew five years older since September. GTLA has equipped me with not only everything I need to be credentialed with the AG church, but also a new mindset, an incredible experience, and a clearer vision of what God has for my life. I had this mindset that I have to go far away to school for God to move in my life but I never would have thought I would experience such depth, growth, and clarity right here at my home church.

As far as the future, I am taking my time and allowing God to show me where my feet will go next. He has such incredible plans for your life, you just have to let him show you and not live for yourself. If you are college aged and are struggling with “what you want to do with the rest of your life” or where you are going to college, trust me when I say you are not alone. Seek God through everything you plan for the future. He will show you and reveal himself in miraculous ways. It is also so exciting to be a young adult at GT Church for such a time as this. Our new 18/25 young adult program is going to be (and already is) incredible and I cannot wait to see what God does through that. I strongly encourage anyone from the age of 18-25 to come to our first summer gathering on June 3rd from 6-8pm right at GT in the courtyard. I hope to see you there!

Stay well,