Plans Fail, Prayers Don’t
All Believers sojourn through desert and wilderness experiences. As a kindergarten boy, Johnathan Crutcher was vulnerable as he made his way home through the concrete jungle. His teacher drove past him after school was over for the day. “Where’s your mom?” she asked. Six year old John answered, “Well, if I’m lucky, she’ll be at this corner. Or I’ll walk home by myself and hopefully she’ll be there to let me in.” With that, the teacher took him home. She remained in Johnathan’s life and continued to look out for him by making sure he made it to and from school safely every day. That was the beginning of a relationship that remains significant to Johnathan. Looking back, Johnathan understands that God was weaving opportunities to develop trust and dependence on God regardless of circumstances.
John was an only child born to a 38 year old mother in Detroit. His mother struggled with substance abuse and didn’t always care for him properly. Sometimes it was scary but starting a relationship with God helped Johnathan find peace. Going to church with his grandmother was the beginning of Johnathan’s journey with God. People in the church noticed his personality and told him that he was going to be a preacher. His grandmother prayed and encouraged him to pray for his mother’s drug habit and taught him that God could change his mom and give her the strength to stop doing drugs. Johnathan was saved and baptized at age six.
A couple years later, Johnathan came home in the afternoon and went to his mom’s room. There was blood everywhere and she was in rough condition. He didn’t understand happened to her, but he knew it was related to her substance abuse. A short time later, his mom stopped using drugs and eventually submitted her life to God. She started going to church every week and read her Bible regularly. She was supportive of her son’s calling to be a preacher but their relationship continued to be rocky because of her mental health and verbal abuse. In spite of her imperfections, Johnathan admired the way she sacrificed and dedicated herself. He learned a lot from his relationship with her and incorporates many of those lessons in the way he disciples youth.
Junior high was rough for Johnathan. His pillar of faith, his grandmother, passed away when he was 10. Johnathan defines his life as a product of his grandmother’s intercessory efforts. She poured love and lessons into him. Johnathan considers his anointing to be a double portion of her anointing. She taught Johnathan about identity in Christ when she told him that he’s only what he answers to. This is why Johnathan answers to his name, Preacher, friend and songwriter but rejects demeaning titles. He still hears the holy spirit in her voice. At the time he was too committed to his pride and ignorance to enjoy a full relationship with God but he enjoyed church. The people were positive and kind and the events were fun. Johnathan kept going to his grandmother’s church for a couple years until the sadness he felt there led him to move on.
More than once, Jonathan tried to avoid the call to Christian leadership. The junior high social climate encouraged John to care what people thought about him. When high school started, John talked to God and said, “God, it’s nothing personal, but I’d rather be popular than serve you by living as a Christian.” Plans fail, but prayers never do. Our prayers never fail because God is always good, even when he doesn’t answer our prayers the way we want. In high school, Johnathan met a new friend, Jaleesa. He wanted to get to know her and possibly date her. She influenced him to join the Christian Club at school. Johnathan’s plans to avoid God’s call failed but his prayers to find a good group of friends was answered.
Being involved with Christian Club had it’s ups and downs. Once again, Johnathan felt directed toward leadership, especially when he tried to avoid it. After an election, the teacher in charge of Christian Club asked the young believer if he would be the vice president. John politely declined yet the teacher felt a pull from the Holy Spirit that resulted in Johnathan fulfilling the role of co-president. He was president for three years after that. He learned how to be an effective and humble leader. and experienced focus and determination.
The songwriter’s path unfolded around more opportunities that developed his leadership and ministry skills. One of the first souls he helped connect with a body of believers was a friend named Eric. The future preacher convinced Eric to go on a church trip and Eric came back saved. Eric joined the sound production team and used his skills to serve. Eric grew into an amazing keyboard player and now leads worship.
Joining a dynamic youth group and being mentored by mature believers such as Trent, his youth pastor, yielded more opportunities for Johnathan to jump in and learn by doing. John’s first sermon was preached to a huge Easter morning crowd when he was sixteen and he was given the freedom to plan events. Trent encouraged John to wrestle with God and contend for the answer but never offered answers on a platter. Trent taught the young preacher that it was ok to answer people’s questions with, “I don’t know.” Johnathan was blessed with a lot of experiences that helped him grow into a great leader.
After high school, Johnathan finally submitted to God’s call to be a preacher. He studied at Great Lakes Christian College and graduated with bachelor’s degrees in Christian Ministries and Bible Theology. He continued his education at Grand Canyon University where he earned master’s degrees in Ministerial Leadership and Urban Ministry.
Johnathan has written songs for fun since high school. Lyrics pop into his mind while he’s praying, evolve from his spirit or echo what he reads in the Bible. At age 25, John accepted an invitation to sing at a youth conference. He enjoyed praising God but didn’t think of himself as the best singer. A producer approached him after the conference and asked him if he’d ever considered recording music. Johnathan struggled to understand his worth and it was hard for him to understand how God could use him. Johnathan had to learn to get out of his own way and let his confidence in God carry him. He remembered the lessons his grandmother taught him about identity in Christ and is reminded that God created him perfectly for the job that he’s been assigned. Johnathan says, “God births stuff in us that is meant to be disseminated so that it may impact and comfort others.”
The songwriter wrote a meaningful song as he reflected on his relationship with his mom during her last few days. She was relentless when she was dedicated to someone or something. The truth he learned through the experience of her passing is that his story didn’t end just because she left Earth. He tries to honor his Mom by doing his best to be obedient to God. He perseveres and in his weakest moments, the memory of his mom encourages him to keep going and never quit. He’d expected his mother’s death for a while and prepared himself to be supportive to the family as he wrote a beautiful song. Click here to listen to his song, “Pour Out.”
Johnathan is grateful for the home he has found at All Nations Christian Church in Lansing where they embrace healthy community. Johnathan looks up to Derrick Walker, an elder at All Nations Christian Church. Some of John’s first experiences leading worship were more about showmanship than praising God. Elder Walker helped the young preacher learn to put God first. John was goofy and immature but Elder Walker was always patient, kind, quick to listen, and slow to speak. Johnathan is affectionately known as “The Rev” and plans to serve at All Nations Christian Church for as long as God allows.
Johnathan is working on new music and a book that will be released in 2021. He can be reached by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.