What Happened After I Quit My Job to Follow Christ - Part 1
After I quit my job dealing poker in St. Louis, I embarked on a quest to start a ministry called Testimony House. The problem I seemed to be faced with, however, was that even though I knew where I was going, I didn’t know how to get there.
I had been a believer of Christ for less than a year. I had only recently learned that God has a unique and special plan for my life. And when I learned what it was I was hesitant to step out in faith to follow it. When I finally quit, in addition to not knowing exactly what to do, I also had no idea what to expect. I was excited, but nervous.
My adventure began May 5th, 2013. My first day on the new job as founder and President of Testimony House. That morning, I went to Church on the Rock in St. Peters, MO, my home church at the time. That morning they were having their monthly baptism service. What a better way to start my new journey than to be baptized for the first time as an adult follower of Christ.
I remember standing around the others in a line near the baptismal pool. Mostly young kids with their parents. I stood out in this group and was a bit uncomfortable. Yet, up the stairs I walked and into the warm water of the pool. I could hear the worship music being played on the other side of the wall. A camera man posed at the top of the steps fed the video to the congregation in the sanctuary as they worshipped.
As I entered the deeper water, the man would baptize me asked, “Are you ready?” For some reason, I replied, “I’ve never been more ready!” As I was dipped and brought up from the water, my hands shot in the air as if to celebrate a championship victory.
Later that day, I was invited to another baptism service. This time by a friend from the casino. My friend became curious about Jesus after I started talking about Him at work all the time. I had given that friend a Bible, his first one, and he later began regularly attending a church in his area.
The baptism service he invited me to was nothing like I had seen before or since. A preached message preceded praise and worship was replaced by nearly 100 individuals were asked to publicly declare Jesus as Lord and share a brief testimony about what led them to this point in their lives. Unlike the baptism service I was involved in earlier that morning, I remember seeing a wider variety of people getting ready to show their faith in Christ including a newly married couple in their seventies, a Harley bike rider and a number of adults of different careers and nationalities.
When service began, I thought to myself about how special a moment this was for me. I had quit my job to start a ministry called Testimony House and on the first day on the job I was going to hear hundreds of testimonies from people who recently found Jesus like I did. I remember a feeling of being put in the right place at the right time. However, my attitude shifted as the service moved further along.
At this point in my new life in Christ, I hadn’t heard many testimonies before from people who weren’t already working in ministry. My naïve expectations going into service was that “normal” Christians, or those who weren’t pastors or ministers, would talk about Jesus like I did – which was with an intense passion. However, I saw mostly a combination of new believers who were uncomfortable speaking in public being forced to witness about Jesus and others who may have just been going through the motions of church life. It wasn’t always easy to watch and not as inspiring as I thought it would be going in.
As the lined came close to the end, I remember looking at my watch, wondering how much longer this would last. I look back on that moment and think how immature I was. I had just quit my job to start a ministry serving others yet all I could think about was what I was getting out of that service. It wasn’t about me.
Thankfully, God knew why I was there. With just a few people left to baptize a young brunette woman walked into the rolling baptism. The story I was about to hear is still the greatest testimony I have personally heard in all my years of ministry. I will share that testimony as well as the history of miracles and unbelievable, can’t make this stuff up, stories that followed my first year of ministry in What Happened After I Quit My Job to Follow Jesus Part 2 & Part 3.
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