We sat down with Jason Henry to talk about how he found faith in Christ, his job and career, and hobbies.
New Identity: Where are you from?
Jason Henry: Los Angeles, California.
NI: What is your occupation?
JH: Community Service Officer, a.k.a. security guard.
NI: What does your average day look like?
JH: My average day consists of: waking up thanking God for another day; checking e-mails while eating breakfast; traveling forty miles to go to school; leaving school and going to work; and leaving work and going home to prepare to do it all over again the next day. My average off-day consists of: waking up and thanking God for another day; relaxing; studying; and spending time with my wife.
NI: What are your hobbies?
JH: I love reading books, mainly about theology; making Christian hip hop music; singing, and rapping.
NI: Where and for what are you going to school?
JH: I am getting a Bachelor’s degree in Theology at Life Pacific College.
NI: How did you become a Christian?
JH: I grew up in a Christian church with my mom forcing me to go to church every Sunday until I was eighteen years old. It was not optional. Although I never accepted God as my Lord and Savior, I grew up in an African-American Pentecostal church and even sang in youth choir. Still not accepting Jesus, I rebelled against the beliefs I was taught and everything they stood for. But, on September 2, 2002, I finally accepted Jesus and began to walk with Him as one of His disciples.
NI: What do you feel are your giftings or calling?
JH: In 2005, God confirmed to me, in His own special way, a call to be a pastor. I know I am called to pastor. At my former church, I took active steps to become a licensed pastor and even began to preach. I switched churches and am now an intern pastor, really learning how to pastor, and am a small group leader.
NI: What is your favorite scripture or person in the Bible, and why?
JH: James 1:22 – “Be doers of the word, not just hearers.” You have to become authentic in the faith, the opposite of hypocritical. I love it because you are walking in complete authenticity. How you walk matches how you talk.
NI: What aspects do you like or dislike about Christianity in general?
JH: I like everything surrounding the Christian faith itself, like Scripture and theology. But I don’t like how people choose to apply and interpret the scriptures and truth—people talking the talk but not walking the walk. When I try to bring people to Christ in my context—urban South Central, Los Angeles—people have a misconception of preachers. They see preachers as just stealing the people’s money and doing with it what they want. They don’t come to church because they think the preachers are stealing all the offering money. They categorize that as Christianity, period. But that’s wrong. That is what we imperfect humans do, not what the Bible teaches.
NI: Why do you think some non-Christians are fearful of becoming Christian, and what are some obstacles they face?
JH: Non-Christians may not be hearing from Christians about God’s grace. When non-Christians are not exposed to Christians’ interior lives, they are only exposed to misrepresented Christian teachings in the media. There is a lack of true Christian teaching and exposure to the world, and a proper understanding of the grace of God. They also might see Christianity as having so many rules, and if you don’t live up to those rules, you are judged. But God is the only judge, not men.
NI: What might you share with a new believer to take heed or offer some encouraging words to?
JH: I remember my youth pastor said, “There is more to it than what you are experiencing now.” That wisdom caused a deep drive to learn more about faith and have deeper knowledge. It led to deeper depths beyond what I could have imagined. I would also recommend the message of Matthew 7:24-25—build your house on rock, not sand. Believe everything for yourself, not just because someone else told you to. Everything you believe is going to be tested. But if you believe it for yourself, you will not be moved.
NI: What do you find is the hardest thing in your faith to talk about, share or bring up?
JH: The hardest thing to talk about would be passing up job opportunities that do not line up with my vision. People often think that when a job offer comes along that offers more money that you must take it immediately, even though it will interfere with your God-given plans.
NI: Any final thoughts?
JH: Christianity is not religion, but it is a kingdom, a spiritual kingdom of light. If you dig deep enough, you will find the truth.