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Volunteer Spotlight: Leslie Johnson

Volunteer Spotlight


Volunteer Spotlight: Leslie Johnson

Sep 28, 2023

Volunteer Spotlight: Leslie Johnson

Sep 28, 2023

"You will be doing this one day."

It was a phrase I heard God speak to me at a young age, and after looking back, saw woven into the threads of my life from years before.

It started at my grandmother’s house. Time with her often looked like babysitting a family’s littles as she prayed with the mother in the next room. It smelled like wood polish and Comet, as we helped clean another person’s home. It felt like serving others, using my hands to paint the walls of our church or helping to move plywood to the dumpster during its renovation.Despite deep submersion in the darkness of abuse and despair as a child, the Lord began revealing His character, compassion, and great love for my sisters and I through the words and actions of others – such as my grandparents. He moved through their obedience and decisions to instill in me an intrigue and heart of servanthood.

Throughout the years following my salvation, the shaping and molding continued, thanks largely to His Word and the pouring of truth from those in our community. After several VBS’s, handfuls of mission trips and more, I found myself a part of a small group among my peers. It was through this ministry, sitting on the floor across from my small group leader and mentor, that the calling to minister to and serve teens was placed on my heart.

“You will be doing this one day…”

Despite being a mere high schooler myself at the time, I somehow understood His specific calling for me.To this day, I often reflect on Jesus’ example as I minister to and serve others, and am mind-blown at the fact that we have a Savior who led, and continues to lead, by example. He leaves me motivated, encouraged, and accountable. Our King, THE King, saw a need and took it upon Himself to fulfill said need time and time again. Now, I believe He has called me to do the same… To know Him, love Him, and make His great love known to others by way of serving. For the past seven years, since June 2016, God has blessed me with the opportunity to come alongside junior high and high schoolers at Hillside to do what He called me to do years ago – to meet these students where they’re at, speak truth to them, and love them as He would have me love.Never in a million years would I have imagined raising my child in Southern California. From Scottsdale, AZ, to my home town of Wichita, KS, to Colorado (where I met my husband while serving in the Air Force), here we are celebrating eight years of living in Rancho Cucamonga. It’s here that the Lord has allowed us, through serving, to have front row seats to witnessing the fruits and manifestations of His working in our daughter’s life and in the lives of her peers at Hillside through Student Ministries. It was here at Hillside’s Summer Blast that she committed her life to Christ. It was here at Hillside that she was baptized.And it is here, by the grace of God, that she is now plugged in to a small group of her own, filled with her best friends, volunteering to serve alongside each other. It is here Jesus has made known to her and countless other students the joy of serving and being in fellowship with Him. This makes me excited to serve! Bearing witness to the ripple affect that takes place within a young disciple’s heart following their obedience and decisions to honor God and bless others can move one to tears. (Who am I kidding – I’m tearing up now just thinking about it!)

This is what I am blessed to observe at Hillside serving in Student Ministries. I get to watch firsthand God’s molding and igniting their desire to live in line with His Word. I get to hear their joy-filled feedback and recognition of how looking to the interests of others makes sense, and why our Father has called us to do just that. I have come to experience that offering to serve the Lord, by serving others in this world, fulfills in ways the world could never offer… and I am blessed to be doing so, right alongside with you.

Thank You, God, for our freedoms in Christ. May we use them not to indulge the flesh, but rather to serve one another humbly in love; to love our neighbor as ourselves…

“The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31

Thank You, God, for the unique gifts you have given each of us. Thank You for inviting us into the bigger story You’re writing – YOUR story.

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10

Thank You, God, for giving and welcoming each of us a seat at Your table… but also enabling us with Your strength and the ability to also serve those seated at the table. Whether that looks like greeting one at the door or sharing an experience, providing a towel to one stepping out of the waters of baptism, to holding a baby while their parents attend the service… You have placed a unique calling on each of our hearts.

“Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”” Mark 9:35

Thank You, God, for proving time and time again that answering Your call, obeying Your will and design for our lives, never returns void. Show us how we can best be stewards with all we have in order to serve You, Lord.

May we have the courage to obey, to honor You, and bless others.In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Much love to you, Hillside family!


By: Leslie Johnson

Leslie Johnson

Leslie is a veteran of the United States Air Force, where she met her husband, CJ. When she’s not serving at Hillside or working at the ranch in Norco, she enjoys running around town with her daughter, going to the gym, the beach, and riding their horse, Othello.

Leslie Johnson

Leslie is a veteran of the United States Air Force, where she met her husband, CJ. When she’s not serving at Hillside or working at the ranch in Norco, she enjoys running around town with her daughter, going to the gym, the beach, and riding their horse, Othello.