Being raised in a practicing Roman Catholic family by godly parents, as the oldest of five boys, and with twelve years of Catholic education, one comes to know that God exists and that church is important. But that realization did not translate into a belief in an all-sufficient Savior until much later in my life.
I spent the first 35 years of my life “doing” the American dream; accomplishing much in my education, my job, my marriage to Susan in 1980, and in raising four children. Job advancement brought me to Little Rock in 1989. I believed it was for the job opportunity (a two-year stint, and then I would move on), but God had other ideas. All the apparent job success and trappings had resulted in a deep sense of emptiness at age 35, and it was through this that God worked His will for my life.
A friend invited my wife and me to Fellowship Bible Church in early 1990. A couple, following God’s call to disciple, took us through a study called “One-to-One” where the missing pieces came together. That God was a personal God who wanted a personal relationship with us and that all we needed to do was accept that call to a relationship with Him. This began a Spirit-led process to dig into His word and His promises, invest in my roles as a man, my marriage, and our kids’ lives as well as to invest time in ministry in addition to my job.
Twenty years later, in 2010, I was invited to be an Elder. Since that time God has worked in me to better understand His good news (the Gospel), His holiness, my sinfulness, and the depth of His grace that has been freely given to me. His command to make disciples, as we go, at home and across the world is more real to me now than in all my years of being a Christ-follower.
That we can build on a 30+ year legacy of equipping the saints by obeying His command to “make disciples,” living lives that attract people to Jesus so that with confidence we can testify to the hope that is within us is based on the good news of His Gospel and the grace in which we stand.