I’ve been coming to CPC since I was a year and a half. I got saved upstairs on the third floor by my second grade Sunday school teacher. I can remember sitting at the table. She gave us an invitation to accept Jesus as our Savior, and I said it once—and because I wanted to make sure that Jesus was really in my heart, I said it again. And then Rich Phenow corrupted me when he was my youth pastor. He taught me personal grooming habits and stuff like that! I think that Sunday school teachers and youth pastors are the salt of the gospel, because it’s such a pivotal time to learn about Jesus and have faith in Him.
God’s been moving on my heart, impressing upon me to pray, “Help me to love your church.” For me, I love to pray and I love to be in the Word and I love theology. But I can also tend to be the Dead Sea—there’s no outlet.
It’s focused on self. It’s all good stuff, but I’ve been good at NOT doing things to some extent. So one day I’m praying, “Lord, fill me with love for your church,” and then the next I’m signing up to work with Commitment Class [9th grade program]! I remember reaching out to Carrie Gleeson [Director of Student Ministries] and saying, “Carrie, oh no. I feel like God wants me to be a zookeeper.” My instinct was to run from that, because it’s, you know, commitment. But the fruit of our faith is doing things out of our love for God. That’s why I signed up to help with Commitment Class.
I’m learning that kids are kids and that they hunger for Jesus. There are so many more distractions today, more overload, less peace—the kids are feeling this. And the antidote, the answer is Jesus. I like hard questions from kids because it forces me to think, and I’m okay with not answering right away, to say that I’m not sure. As I go through this year, I just want to be obedient and do the best I can and show up.
I’m humbled because Jesus is always pursuing me. I am a wretched person without Jesus. I know that more every day. I know the condition of my heart. I know I am running from Him, that I am stiff-necked, I am a wandering sheep, I am rebellious, I disobey Him. And He keeps coming after me. And that is humbling. It is a mystery of faith. It’s a mystery of love. It’s a mystery that I can’t measure. But it is profound.