Stories: Heart and Soul

Posted by Pastor J.D. on January 27, 2011
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Here are some great stories that reveal the heart and soul of our church… Acts 11 says that Barnabas saw the grace of God at work in the congregation of Antioch and pointed that out as a way of encouraging the congregation. I hope this has the same effect on you.

“I have met so many wonderful staff members in the past month and everyone has been great. If I had questions or wanted to go through the Bible with someone, everyone really wanted to help. This has been such a life-changing experience for me in so many ways, and I know it will only continue to get better. Coming from a very bad family situation I didn’t really understand what love was or what it was like to have people you could go to if something was wrong, or even if you just wanted someone to talk to. What I love so much about the Summit is that everyone just seems to be so full of love and I know that although I don’t have a loving biological family I will find a wonderful ‘family’ in the church.”

Here is one that shows you how God has brought the nations right here to us, and our ministry here can reverberate throughout the world:

“Recently, a college student from mainland China who is studying here and has become a friend of mine accepted Christ at the Summit. I wanted you to know that God has already begun to use her story in several different ways to encourage others. It’s been amazing!  What God is doing in her life is so genuine and such evidence of the Holy Spirit.  After you spoke on the Body of Christ using their gifts a couple weeks ago, she asked me on the way home how she could share her faith with others; saying she had never thought about doing it before, but she really wanted too – and this just weeks after being born-again!  At a retreat a week later, another international student – in the process of seeking truth – asked her about her story. She shared with him, and he responded by telling her that their conversation really helped him. That night he indicated that he placed his trust in Christ. The first student was ecstatic that she got to share with him on the way home.  Wow. God is good and always working!”

Here’s one that made me do a Holy Ghost backflip:

“If you are ever really bored or not busy, I would love to share my story with you, especially as I believe that God used you to bring me closer to him. This summer, I grew closer to God and learned to trust in him more. God’s been doing some amazing things in my life, and I believe that he has been using me to witness the Gospel to my family. When I was baptized, my mother, who is Hindu, was very angry and said that I did not belong to the family anymore. However, God seems to have this knack for blowing my mind away. Our relationship has slowly recovered. For a very long time, I have been witnessing to my mother, and by the grace of god, she accepted the resurrection of Christ, then the purpose of the resurrection, and then Jesus himself.”

And this final one reminds me of the faithful parents who prayed for their kids for years and our church is, in part, an answer to their prayers. I hope this reminds you that what God is doing is much bigger than us and sometimes has nothing to do with “us”:

“I know that you are changing lives with your ministry every day and I applaud you for this – well done. But this letter is about only one person, my son. When I sent him off to UNC I told him that he would experience almost everything in the human experience during the next four years – and most of it, not good. I also told him that his faith would be challenged on every corner of what he encountered. My advice was to make his friends from among those who shared his beliefs. Through Campus Crusade for Christ and yourself, he weathered college, matured, and grew materially in his faith; what more could a parent pray for? I can’t speak for the impact you have had on others, but I can for the impact on my son’s life. He will never be the same because of listening to you (I mean this in the most appreciative way). The Lord is tugging on his heart right now and I know there is some type of service yet to come from him. Growing up as a “frozen chosen” (i.e. Presbyterian), I was uncomfortable the first time I attended your church’s service.  But the number of kids there alive in their faith startled me. I still tear up every time I come and see so many young people so turned on by their faith (heck I’m even tearing up while I type this).”

“I have met so many wonderful staff members in the past month and everyone has been great. If I had questions or wanted to go through the Bible with someone, everyone really wanted to help. This has been such a life-changing experience for me in so many ways, and I know it will only continue to get better. Coming from a very bad family situation I didn’t really understand what love was or what it was like to have people you could go to if something was wrong, or even if you just wanted someone to talk to. What I love so much about the Summit is that everyone just seems to be so full of love and I know that although I don’t have a loving biological family I will find a wonderful ‘family’ in the church.”

“Recently, an international college student accepted Christ. And God has already begun to use her story in several different ways to encourage others. It’s been amazing!  What God is doing in her life is so genuine and such evidence of the Holy Spirit.  After you spoke on the Body of Christ using their gifts a couple weeks ago, she asked me on the way home how she could share her faith with others; saying she had never thought about doing it before, but she really wanted too – and this just weeks after being born-again!  At a retreat a week later, another international student – in the process of seeking truth – asked her about her story. She shared with him, and he responded by telling her that their conversation really helped him. That night he indicated that he placed his trust in Christ. The first student was ecstatic that she got to share with him on the way home.  Wow. God is good and always working!”

“If you are ever really bored or not busy, I would love to share my story with you, especially as I believe that God used you to bring me closer to him. This summer, I grew closer to God and learned to trust in him more. God’s been doing some amazing things in my life, and I believe that he has been using me to witness the Gospel to my family. When I was baptized, my mother, who is Hindu, was very angry and said that I did not belong to the family anymore. However, God seems to have this knack for blowing my mind away. Our relationship has slowly recovered. For a very long time, I have been witnessing to my mother, and by the grace of god, she accepted the resurrection of Christ, then the purpose of the resurrection, and then Jesus himself.”

“I know that you are changing lives with your ministry every day and I applaud you for this – well done. But this letter is about only one person, my son. When I sent him off to UNC I told him that he would experience almost everything in the human experience during the next four years – and most of it, not good. I also told him that his faith would be challenged on every corner of what he encountered. My advice was to make his friends from among those who shared his beliefs. Through Campus Crusade for Christ and yourself, he weathered college, matured, and grew materially in his faith; what more could a parent pray for? I can’t speak for the impact you have had on others, but I can for the impact on my son’s life. He will never be the same because of listening to you (I mean this in the most appreciative way). The Lord is tugging on his heart right now and I know there is some type of service yet to come from him. Growing up as a “frozen chosen” (i.e. Presbyterian), I was uncomfortable the first time I attended your church’s service.  But the number of kids there alive in their faith startled me. I still tear up every time I come and see so many young people so turned on by their faith (heck I’m even tearing up while I type this).”

Pastor J.D.

Posts

J.D. Greear is pastor of The Summit Church, in Raleigh-Durham, NC and author of Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary (2011) and Stop Asking Jesus into Your Heart: How to Know for Sure You Are Saved (2013). More

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