We have all been “brainwashed” in some capacity regarding our faith. For me, I was brought up thinking there was a God but not enough of one to give any attention to or live a certain way. I was a “sporadic Catholic” and when I say “sporadic” I mean I attended church once a year, if that. For you, it may be the opposite. Maybe you went to church every Sunday, maybe even a Wednesday as well. We naturally follow our parent’s patterns – good or bad.
When I was in my 20’s my best friend accepted Christ. It was because of this that I decided I needed to figure this whole thing out. I motivated myself to read through the Bible (King James Version) Thousands of pages - zero comprehension. I had to check it off my list. Turns out that deep down I actually was learning.
Then I met my future wife Vicki. She sees I have a Bible on my coffee table and a cross hung over my bed. RED FLAG. “He’s a Holy Roller, Bible Thumper, Jesus Freak.” She didn’t leave. Thank God. She was intrigued enough to ask questions and have conversations. We decided to look around for a church.
The first one we visited passed the offering basket rather quickly and often (twice). They seemed to want our money yet we didn’t know them at all yet. I felt a bit used. The second one we visited, the doors were locked and the pastor was on a sabbatical – felt as though God was telling me this wasn’t the one. Our third church just didn’t feel right – almost too welcoming – a bit much. It didn’t feel authentic.
Finally, upon pressure of a good friend of mine from the gym (he was very intimidating, muscular and may have bullied me as I look back) Vicki and I decided to go to his church that he was attending - Fellowship Church. Our first visit was unlike anything I have ever experienced. The Pastor (Andy) came over and introduced himself and got to know us a bit. The message was something I understood and it inspired me to act it out during the week. All of the Bible references were explained so I could understand. Each week inspired me to pursue God on my own – praying, reading the Bible, serving and getting involved in groups. It was within that first year that Vicki and I asked Pastor Andy to officiate our marriage. We spend 6 weeks with him in our premarital counseling. I realized what a man of God looks like. I saw a man who followed Christ in every capacity – a living example of someone who was doing his very best to be the real deal. I am so thankful for that. Every one of us should have these people in our lives.
I accepted Christ years before going to Fellowship Church but it was this church that inspired me to live it out. No hypocrisy – doing my very best to be more and more like Jesus Christ. Loving people as they’ve never been loved before, looking for opportunities to serve others and teaching whatever I can to those interested in learning about the One who changed my life forever. Do I still mess up? Yes, but that's a longer blog.
If someone told me 25 years ago that I would be attending church every week and actually enjoying it, I would have never believed it. If someone told me I’d work at a church, well that would even be tougher. Thank you Fellowship Church for changing my life. #upandtotheright