It took a week to wake up and realize the nightmare was just a bad dream… My life was going to stay the same. Crisis averted. Whew! What a relief! My mistake wasn’t going to change my life forever. Yeah, my mistake didn’t change my life, but I knew something had to change or else I’d continue down the wrong path.
So, I started with what I thought was best….I broke up with my girlfriend and decided to get back into church.
A friend told me he heard there were pretty girls at Bethel Temple’s youth group. Being the single man I now was, I decided to go and check it out. (God sure does know how to motivate us, doesn’t He? Hilarious!)
My friend was absolutely right. There were plenty of pretty girls there! However, during that night something was different. As I walked into the youth group, I was greeted by some of the most loving, genuine teens and adults I had ever met. They asked me questions about myself and they genuinely listened, even through my stuttering voice.
The songs they sang actually sounded good. The sermon spoke to me in a way it never had before. And when the youth pastor gave the invitation to accept Christ, something inside me broke and I knew it was time for me to surrender.
I received Christ that night. I felt complete acceptance. No longer abandoned, but knowing Jesus was for me.
I went to pick up girls and got picked up by Jesus.
From that moment on, my life was never the same. My mom would always tell me, When you got it, you got it!
I immediately joined a small group. I served on the greeter team at the youth group. I joined a 6 week summer discipleship program. I started a Bible study at my school. I didn’t do these things to earn God’s love and favor. I did these things because Jesus had changed my life and I wanted others to experience change in their own life. I had found something in church I hadn’t found in many other places… Acceptance, love, and place to belong.
From the inside out I was a completely new person. I had love for people I knew didn’t love me back. I had a joy that wasn’t based on my circumstances. I had a heart to serve instead of being served. And, most of all, God gave me a heart for His people, the Church.
My journey led me to Masters Commission Mid Atlantic in Hagerstown, MD where I stayed for four years, and eventually obeyed the calling to enter into youth ministry.
After 10 years of youth ministry, I am now pursuing starting a church in my hometown of Newport News, VA.
Lifehouse Church will be the kind of place where I encountered the life-changing power of Christ… a place of love, acceptance and belonging. A place that doesn’t dwell on what you’ve done, but focuses on where you’re headed. A place where there is hope, joy, and life.
Lifehouse Church. Lifehouse Newport News.