A Testimonial About the Obedience Challenge from a Small church Pastor
I got this email this week from a faithful small church pastor, talking about how he's using the Obedience Challenge in his church.
It was an immense encouragement, and I thought I'd share it with you (with some identifying information taken out.
Wanted to drop you a note to let you know about something great happening in our church.
We started encouraging our congregants to use the Obedience Challenge during the Lent season and many have taken us up on it. I think we have given out almost 20 copies of the book. I’m also preaching some messages from the texts they are reading and on the commands of Jesus during these Sundays. While I am always thrilled when people take steps of intentional Bible study and discipleship seriously, there is one particular case I wanted to tell you about.
About a year ago a woman from our community that my wife and I have had a surface relationship with for years asked about attending our church. She had grown up with somewhat of a Catholic background, had spent some of her adult life in other church settings (sometimes very involved), but had been deeply wounded by some church leadership and had basically walked away from any regular life with God years ago. She believed, but that was about it. And her life wasn’t very reflective of any relationship with Him. She came to our church on and off for several months, but we usually didn’t see much of her.
Back before Lent, I gave a message challenging people to add something more to their intentional spiritual disciplines during the Lent season instead of just thinking about things they might give up... To those who responded that day (2 ladies) I offered the Obedience Challenge as a tool they may consider using in adding new life to their spiritual rhythm.
These two woman took on the challenge together and have been reading, watching the videos, and holding each other accountable…even to the extent that one told me (even though she’s obviously spiritually further along than the other) “She’s not letting me get away with anything on this accountability. She’s really holding my to it.” I believe God is using this time to draw our friend back to Himself and to use that discipleship process to kindle a new fire for my own family, as well. Just the other day the first lady mentioned that her friend had told her that God was really convicting her over some things in her life and she felt she needed to make some changes. I know that your daily videos have also been a great source of help to them.
We live in a small town, and this friend of our happens to hold a very prominent place in our community, but is also a very private person. It is difficult to share public testimonies like this without drawing a lot of attention to the person to whom they apply. But I wanted to tell someone and I wanted to encourage you about the work you are doing…so I’m spilling it all to you. Perhaps there will come a day when this story is told more fully among our own tribe, but until that day, I am just so excited that God is on the move!
Thank you for your work. And thank you for partnering with us. The Kingdom is advancing!
Well, praise God!
If you're interested in getting the Obedience Challenge and doing a churchwide campaign to help your new Christians (and old ones!) learn to obey the commands of Jesus, you can find out more at http://www.obediencechallenge.com