Putting your faith in Jesus Christ should have a profound impact on every decision, behavior, and aspect of your life. However, this was not true for one pastor we worked with. Though he had accepted Christ, he had not surrendered his life, decisions, and addictions over to God. He still lived with the same struggles and lies as he did prior to accepting Jesus. He drank, smoked and was known as a difficult person—not a life and reputation that was honoring to God.
After studying the first set of our lessons, the pastor was convicted of his behaviors and vowed to change. He recommitted his life to Christ and affirmed his desires to live according to the principles of the Bible. A life committed and transformed for God. As the congregation and others in the community witnessed this transformation of character within the pastor, they too realized their faults and flaws. Using the pastor as an example, 40 different people recommitted their lives to Christ and started to become actively involved in the church.
These personal changes ignited a corporate change in the church. During our training, the Local Facilitator asked the church to show him where the community received their drinking water. Upon witnessing the dirty stream filled with trash, the trainer challenged the church to think about a way to serve the community in this area. Three days later, our trainer received a phone call from the church and an exciting declaration from the church leaders that the stream had been cleaned up and was now free of trash. They would make it their duty to keep the stream and water clean.
Shocked by this turn of events, the community began asking why someone would do such a task. They wondered who cleaned this stream because it had been dirty for years without anyone noticing or caring. Upon realizing that the church had served the community, the perception of the local church changed. Instead of being the place where bad people with poor reputations went, the church became known as a place where lives were changed for the better; a place where the needs of the community were important, valued, and cared for. Through the pastor’s transformation and recommitment to God, a community was impacted.