Being a Christian is not démodé 

I’m a 20-year-old Albanian called Joel Bedulla and I’m also a pastor’s kid! Ever since I was little, I loved reading Bible stories with my parents. Before my father started his ministry as a pastor, our family had been regular members of a church. I was active in the children’s Sunday School and I used to ask a lot of questions. I was a very curious kid.

After my dad opened his own church in the city of Korçë, I found myself to be in a different situation compared to being an ordinary member of someone else’s church. This is where my inclination to become theologically articulate came from.

I love learning foreign languages and I have always considered the ability to learn and memorize quickly as a gift from God. I retain the same curiosity I had as a kid, which makes me interested in learning about religions and different perspectives and belief systems. That’s why, in 2018, I started my higher education studies by choosing a double major: studying French language/culture in a secular university and studying theology in the International School of Theology and Leadership in Tirana. My main motivation for studying theology is to serve others, specifically young people.

I find that my church is a safe place to develop ministry and sometimes I get the opportunity to preach from the pulpit. At other times, I lead the Sunday School ministry. It feels very rewarding and uplifting to be able to explain God’s Word in a community that appreciates me.

Being a Christian is not démodé and as a young believer I find it a wonderful and challenging experience. Many young adults find it difficult to confess their faith publicly because of their desire to fit in. The fact that my secular friends criticize religion is frankly distressing. When it comes to defending Christianity from verbal attacks, I admit I don’t have all the answers. But what I do in such cases is to show the love of Christ. I want young people to see that Christianity simply means loving God and loving people.