A support system for anyone willing
There are many religious organizations on the North Dakota State campus, so what makes them all different other than focusing on different beliefs? Just Jesus, which became an official NDSU student organization last year, focuses on Christianity and mostly work on being a support system and family for others.
While many think religious organizations look to convert people to their religion, Just Jesus tries to break away from that idea.
“Converting people is not really something that we talk about — that’s not really a goal,” Casey Bartlett, first-year master’s student in communication, said. Instead, they do not “push” their religion onto others.
Many students have been shocked at involvement expos or when they walk by a Just Jesus booth in the Memorial Union as organizational members hand out dollar bills to people to have a good day with no strings attached.
“People could not understand that idea — it was crazy that it wasn’t just a trap to bait someone in so I could talk to you and try and covert you over to my religion,” said Charlie Carlson, president of Just Jesus.
The environment is a relaxed “hangout” instead of a structured service. Each meeting is hours long of eating and hanging out with others to create a sense of community and family.
“You go to a lot of those worship services, and it’s really good for people that it works for,” Carlson said. “What we have is a really unstructured environment where it’s kind of dynamic, and it’s going to adapt to what everyone needs it to be.”
While some meetings consist of eating, praying, singing or studying the Bible, if someone in their community needs support or someone to talk to, they will change the entire meeting to meet the needs of that person.
Just Jesus creates a family in their organization, instead of the structured idea of blood meaning family. They said they want to expand the idea to every person is family. This is why their meetings are usually a relaxed session of talking and supporting each other.
“We believe that every person is made in the image of God, and therefore we are all part of the same human family,” Bartlett said.
From the moment Carlson joined years ago, he noticed that there was something different about the organization. He could sense the family aspect and the importance of having this support system.
During that time, it was a part of Bartlett’s pastoral duties to work with this organization. Once he became a student himself, he chose to continue being a part of the “joint venture between NDSU and University of Jamestown,” Bartlett said.
Although the organization focuses on Christianity, they are not exclusive to that religion and allow anyone that practices any religion to join. They also allow others that do not attend NDSU but are in the Fargo-Moorhead community to join. “We welcome anyone to come in,” Bartlett said.
Bringing Heaven to earth is their main goal of the organization. They want to make it a physical aspect you can experience. For more information, visit the Just Jesus MyNDSU page.