Wednesday night I had the awesome privilege of speaking to our Middle School students about the church. I closed my message by sharing my story and how the church has forever shaped my life.
I was born into the church – it started at home with a dad and mom who loved Christ, modeled not only a God-honoring life, but also showed me that being a Christian was about a relationship with Jesus that shapes our lives. They weren’t perfect, neither were the people of my home church, Winnetka Bible, but they loved me and loved me to Jesus.
I trusted Christ as a 5 or 6-year-old, responding to the gospel message that
was taught by my Sunday School teacher. Christ was real to me – as real as anyone I knew.
Something happened in Junior High and the proverbial wheels fell off. I was struggling to fit in and finding my way at school. I backed away from Jesus and found myself in constant trouble at home, in the neighborhood and especially at school. The church didn’t drop me and my parents prayed and exercised some tough love (I was grounded for half of 6th grade). My youth pastors and volunteer leaders didn’t push me away, and through it all, the church that loved me to Jesus, loved me all the way back!
It was the summer of 8th grade at Camp Moyoca in Antioch, Illinois, when God used the church, once again, to love me back to Jesus. The counselor’s joy in Christ reminded me of what I had lost.
A fresh taste of God’s grace settled deep inside me and the struggles of finding my place in life were replaced with a fresh experience of God’s kindness and a surprisingly clear vision of my future. It was that week where God called me back to Himself and planted the seed of one day serving as a pastor.
I love the church.
I desperately need the church and I desire this church, Door Creek Church, to be used by God to bring, keep and bring back again many who will give their lives for Christ and His mission.
Thanks for being the Church!
Together for Christ,