How Everyday People Live Out Their Christian Faith

Illustrating how men and women display their love for Jesus in their day-to-day lives.
Little things that may have an eternal impact. Might these stories motivate you to use your talents?
  • Church Activities Labor

    HELPING PEOPLE MEET JESUS

    I was born in Brazil and moved to North Carolina with my family when I was 11. During high school, I was an agnostic or maybe an atheist. But, after wrestling with my thoughts about God, I came to faith during my freshman year of college when a friend introduced me to Jesus. I spent my college years falling more in love with the God, learning how to study His Word, and sharing my grace story with others. After graduating, I worked for four years with a college ministry, where I helped launch a new chapter of Campus Outreach in Virginia. There, I was able to share with students the love of God in sending us His Son. I was also able to train college students on how to live out their faith no matter their location or context. In 2010, I came to the Hamptons to visit my brother for a month. But I never left. I fell in love with the vision of Grace Presbyterian Church in Water Mill. In fact, in 2012, I accepted the position of Director of Spiritual Formation. This job is a great fit for me. I get to minister to women, teach the Bible, lead a mercy ministry team, and work alongside our pastor to develop a discipleship program for our church. I love seeing people meet Jesus and be transformed by His grace. It never gets old!

  • Children Unique Ministries

    MENTORING YOUNG MOTHERS

    When I had my first son, I stopped working and stayed home. I loved it, but after nine months, I started to go a little stir crazy and missed the socialization. That's when a friend told me about MOPS---Mothers of Preschoolers. I found one nearby and went to my first meeting, scared to death. But once I got there, I loved it! I was suddenly surrounded by other moms like me, craving connection during that season of motherhood. I saw firsthand how they encouraged young moms, all while incorporating God's word. At MOPS, I spent time with a table leader and a mentor mom. My mentor mom was great. She would invite us over for tea and just pour into us. For moms with little ones dripping off of us and feeling exhausted, it was wonderful to have a more experienced mom remind us that "it'll all be okay." The next year, I felt led to be a table leader and continued in the program until the youngest of our seven children graduated from the program. Then, I was approached to be a mentor mom. I was humbled. It hit me that I was now at the point where I could pour into new moms the same way my mentor did for me. God had used MOPS to bless me, and now I get to be on the other end, serving Him and blessing others. Many years later, I am still serving as a MOPS mentor because He isn't yet done with me there. God still has something else for… Read More

  • Financial Help Food Unique Ministries

    THE LOVE KEPT MULTIPLYING

    When Hurricane Florence hit Myrtle Beach, it left over 2,000 families without a home. They literally had nothing. I knew I had to do something to help. Growing up, my mom taught me we should love our neighbors and treat others like you'd want to be treated. I own a 70-room inn, so I told people they could come stay with me for free as long as they needed. We filled up immediately. They were hungry and had nothing to their name. Since I love to cook, I fired up my grill, bought some burgers and hot dogs, and fed everyone. I didn't know how we'd handle day two but I had faith the Lord would help us in some way. I wasn't prepared for how much He helped. The response from our community was overwhelming, and the kindness just spread. People started showing up, handing me money to help our residents. Local restaurants donated meals for all 350 people crammed into our inn, so we started feeding them three meals a day for several weeks. The love kept multiplying. Barbers came to cut hair, artists to paint children's faces, DJs to play music, veterinarians to take care of their pets, and clowns to make people smile. God met every one of our needs. My friend is a social media consultant (I never thought I'd need one of those!) and established a Facebook account, Myrtle Beach Midtown Disaster Relief. We could post the specific needs of people, like "my husband starts a job next week and needs… Read More

  • Labor Mission Trips

    A DIFFERENT LIFE THAN I EXPECTED

    I am a missionary kid. I grew up in Panama where I joined my parents in ministry throughout the country. I saw God do some pretty amazing things. When I was a child, I was called to missions. Honestly, I always assumed my life would be me and my family living overseas, doing the work of the Lord. So, when I moved to Tanzania after college, it seemed my dreams were becoming a reality. However, when my two-year assignment in Tanzania finished, I found myself single, alone, and heading back the United States without a real direction for my future. I took the first job offered to me, working to help new missionaries go overseas. It seemed ironic I was helping so many get to their respective places of service while I stayed behind in America answering emails. I've now been in the United States for four very long years. However, during that time, I have traveled around the country, sharing my passion for the lost to be reached for Jesus. Mostly, this means setting up tables with pamphlets at universities, and then having conversations with students interested in missions. It seems so simple, and yet I have seen hundreds of college students answer the call to go, and I have helped them get there. I have worked with teams in the field in need of a particular skill set and found the person they needed. I have been a part of an answer to prayer for so many. I don't know what the future holds for me. I hope I do get… Read More

  • Children Labor Unique Ministries

    REACHING OUT TO HURTING KIDS

    In September of 2011, the son of one of my marketing clients was struck by a car. He was a very active eight-year-old and had broken both of his legs. I went searching for a gift for him and couldn’t find what I had in mind. He loved his favorite team and was going to be laying in a hospital bed recovering for a long time. So that night, I stayed up until 3 a.m. creating the first ever Roll Tide Activity Book as a gift for him. Just a month prior, I had changed my prayers, asking God to help me find a way to live a more meaningful life and to impact others. With this creation, I saw a way I could make a difference in the lives of children who were hurting. I hired a graphic designer and a year later, I had my first sports activity book in print. The reaction was amazing. I took my savings and immersed myself in this full-time. In the Sports Zone is now a full line of licensed team activity books, storybooks, and coloring books for kids. There is a book for nearly every NFL, NBA and MLB team, as well as over 40 college football teams. I developed an app, so hospitalized kids everywhere can have access to these books, for free, enabling them to have some fun during their very tough times. But more than a business, this is my way of giving back and helping children. I donate thousands of books to those… Read More

  • Children Mission Trips Unique Ministries

    THE POWER OF YOUR SHOES

    Throughout my life, I have managed spherocytosis which causes a weak immune system. I've battled this disease and with each step, God has guided a sickly little girl into the strong youth pastor that I am today. Two weeks before turning 16, I had my spleen removed due to my illness. While in my recovery room, feeling pity for myself, a younger, sicker patient walked in and out of the blue announced that she was praying for me. God provided an eye-opener at that moment of how lucky I was with my family and church to provide me needed emotional support. It was then when I made a personal decision to pursue missionary work. Weeks later, my father and I went on an international mission trip to the Dominican Republic. During that stay, I saw an important need for shoes. Shoes for children, parents and even the orphanage security guard. When I arrived back home, God opened the door for me to speak at a church. The pastor asked me to share my testimony and the need for shoes for his congregation. At the end of the sermon, the pastor challenged members of his church to leave their shoes at the altar. Immediately, people walked forward giving the shoes off their feet resulting in over 1,000 shoes for the orphanage. It has been one of the most significant moments of my life to see God's work among a group of people. During that one series, we collected enough shoes to last three years. My health has not allowed me to… Read More

  • Church Activities Labor Unique Ministries

    HELPING WIDOWS AND SINGLE MOMS

    My life is pretty busy. Between work and family, there just isn't a lot of time left for ministry. For a long time, I felt really guilty about that. Twice a year, my church parades people from various ministries across the stage in hopes of getting new volunteers. I would watch as each went by and think, "Man, this is not for me." At least, that was my response until my pastor spoke one Sunday morning about a ministry he wanted to start. He was looking for people who could change the oil in cars. That seemed like a simple request. I've been changing the oil in cars since I could drive. He started talking about the single moms and widows living in our area. Many haven't had the oil changed in their cars in years, simply because they don't have the money to get it done. My pastor wanted to see if there were people in the congregation who could serve the community in this way. Then, while the oil is being changed, ladies would talk with them to see if there are other things they need, and then pray with them. Now, the first Saturday of each month, I am changing the oil in dozens of cars for single moms. My wife comes and talks with the ladies. Even my kids join us and play with the other kids. I've watched as my children have shown the love of Christ to kids in the area. I smile as I look over to see my wife praying… Read More

  • Food Labor Unique Ministries

    SERVING OTHERS WITH FOOD

    Food is the way God led me to serve. About 18 years ago, my husband first volunteered as a driver for a local food pantry in our home state, Alaska. Unlike most soup kitchens or food pantries, this food pantry also delivered the food right to the doors of those in need, since they usually didn't have access to reliable transportation. This organization had two drivers who would deliver, and one person to pack the food. While my husband enjoyed delivering the food, I was not as comfortable driving in the Alaskan winters. So I began as a volunteer food packer, and have done so ever since. My daughter was home schooled during elementary school, and she usually came along to help pack the food. Although she didn't always love it, she has since told me that this is what taught her empathy and to have the heart of a servant. I also worked as the cafeteria manager at a local public school. Due to the financial circumstances of the school's neighborhood, all meals were free to the students. It gave me another way to serve others in some way through food. My husband went to be with Jesus a bit sooner than anyone here on earth expected. That was about a year and a half ago. Thankfully, we were in a place that my finances were in order and I was able to retire early. While I miss him daily, I know he's having a better time now than he ever was here on earth. I can't wait to… Read More

  • Children Labor

    DISCIPLING HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS

    High school was pretty rough for me. I spent those years struggling with identity and friendships, so when I graduated, I declared I would never go back. Of course, God, with His sense of humor, had other plans. During college, He revealed how my pain from high school could be used to pour into the next generation. I began to see how my testimonies could help other girls know they aren't alone in their trials, and God could use me to disciple them. I became a Young Life leader and worked as a high school teacher after I graduated college. I fell in love with this age group, and wanted to give my life to serving them. More than anything, I wanted high school girls to know they already have the approval they seek. So often, teenagers strive to fit in, be the sports star, and make the highest grade in their class, all in the pursuit of affirmation. What they don't realize is they already have God's approval. Jesus didn't go into the wilderness, do ministry, heal the sick, or rise from the dead to earn the approval of the Father. He knew who He was and did everything from that. That's exactly how it is for us. My biggest hope is to awaken high school girls to the truth that because the Spirit of God lives inside them, they get to have a relationship with God and do great things. I want high school girls to know what I wish I would have known at their age: You… Read More

  • Church Activities Other Unique Ministries

    SERVING AS THE CHURCH NURSE

    I am a nurse. I am also a Christian, and have found the best thing I can do for my patients is to pray with them and for them, which I do for every patient. Now I am retired. I wasn't sure how I would like retirement since my entire adult life has been as a nurse. My pastor, knowing my health is good and that I like to be helpful where I can, asked if I would become our church's nurse. For the last three years, I have loved my new position. I don't get paid, yet I feel more fulfillment than I ever did as an RN in a doctor's office. Each week, I visit church members in the hospital to pray and just be there for the patients and their families as they walk through a difficult time. I also visit shut-ins and anyone from the church who have a long-term illness. Each week, I visit a few families with children who are very sick. Usually, I just sit with the child, while the parents take some much-needed time away to get some coffee or have a date night. Each Sunday, I spend time before and after church in my "nurse's office" near the sanctuary, where I give free blood pressure readings and other simple medical tasks so people don't have to pay to visit their doctor or a lab. My work is pretty simple. But I feel I'm using my skills to help others, many of whom are in need. I don't see it as… Read More

  • Children Labor

    POURING MYSELF INTO MY PLAYERS

    To most, I am known as simply "Coach." As the local high school's football coach, I spend a great deal of time with high school boys. Many of them come from broken homes and could very easily end up on a very bad path. However, I realize the Lord has placed me in this particular job at this specific school to pour myself into these boys and help them become all they can be. For many of them, I am the closest thing to a father they will ever know. That is why my office door is always open. My players know they can come to me about anything, not just football. And almost all of them do at some point during their time on the team. We talk about girl problems, home issues, peer pressure, time management skills, you name it. Often, I ask them if they would like us to pray about their situation. I know I work in a public school and that's really frowned upon, but the only way I can meet the needs of these boys is through the power and wisdom of God. I've never had a student say no to prayer. And every night, my wife and I pray together about the needs of the boys on my team. I don't know if anyone in their lives is praying for them, but we are. And I know it's making a difference. Boys that would have ended up in jail, or worse, have gone to college and become wonderful adults. I don't take my role… Read More

  • Church Activities Mission Trips Prayer

    THE MISSIONS COORDINATOR

    When I read Scripture, I see Jesus sharing His love with the nations. From Genesis to Revelation, it is all about missions to me. I've been on several short-term mission trips to various parts of the world. Each trip has enriched my life in more ways than I can recount. I was definitely blessed far more than I blessed others. However, the Lord has not called me to full-time missions. But I can still be part of this effort. There is so much that can be done from right here at home to bless the nations. So I became the missions coordinator for my church. I get all the newsletters from missionaries and post them on our bulletin board for people to read. Each week, we have a missionary of the week and I get their information, a photo, and prayer requests that go in our weekly bulletin and on our app so our congregation can pray. I also coordinate our yearly missions week where we bring in missionaries from all over the world to speak in our services and spend time in our life groups, sharing about what the Lord is doing around the world. Most importantly, though, I coordinate our missions prayer effort. I have a team of people who work with me in this. Every time a missionary sends a prayer request, it immediately goes out to this team and we pray because we know that prayer changes things.

  • Children Labor Mission Trips

    ONE TRIP CHANGED MY LIFE FOREVER

    It’s been said that life can change in an instant. For me, a trip to Africa in 2012 altered the course of my life forever. On that trip, I was introduced firsthand to orphans. I had read about them and seen videos, but actually holding a child who did not know the love of a family stirred my heart. Already a mother to two beautiful girls, my heart was pulled in the direction of international adoption. In 2013, my husband and I started the long and difficult journey of growing our family through adoption. We knew we were being called to adopt from the DRC- the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We were matched with a beautiful little girl we named Emily, and we started the adoption process.  However after 18 long months, she no longer was available to adopt. We were crushed, confused, and torn. But the Lord was good. He placed a second little girl from the Congo in our lives, and in May of 2016, we were able to bring home our little girl, Evie. My family’s journey through international adoption molded our family into what it is today, and helped prepare me for my future work at Fund the Nations. This organization helps mission groups, families seeking adoption, and non-profit groups better fulfill the Great Commission through t-shirt sales and fundraising. I became the official storyteller of the organization. It is my job to express the desires and dreams of the groups traveling across the globe to spread the good news or the heartfelt cries of… Read More

  • Unique Ministries Verbalizing the Gospel

    SHOOTING POOL AT THE BEER JOINT

    Throughout life, God has called me to places far outside my comfort zone, to use me in the lives of those who are downtrodden. I turned 70 this year, and God has always used me to connect to hurting people. Some would describe me as an evangelist but really, I simply love Jesus and I want to talk about Him any chance I get. I spend a lot of time in places most Christians try to avoid. Most evenings, you can find me shooting pool at the beer joint on the corner, or at the prison telling funny stories. I don't drink beer or break the law, but I go to these places intentionally because the people there need a friend. They need someone to hear their heartache and to introduce them to Jesus through a real friendship. I know the best friend anyone can have is Jesus. He saved me many years ago and He has been my steadfast friend through every season of my life. No matter where you are, there are people hurting from the pain of this world. But you cannot expect them to come to you. It is my job as Christian to look for those who need Jesus' touch. I've always told my children, to have a friend, be friendly. We have to be intentional and look for those who are hurting. We have to share our own hurts and how Jesus changes our heart. I'll continue to do just that for the rest of my life.

  • Food Unique Ministries

    A NEW PERSPECTIVE ON GIVING

    My momma taught me to always help those who are less fortunate. She ingrained in me to "do unto others as you would want them to do unto you." So that's what I did. As a teenager, I would often volunteer in soup kitchens and shelters, loving every minute of it. But as a busy working adult with little free time, I eventually found myself no longer volunteering. I wanted to serve, to help people in need. I just didn't know how I would have the time to do so. I felt extra compassion toward the ones I passed everyday: the homeless. Living in a big city, I pass countless homeless people every day on my way to work. But I never felt comfortable giving them money; I thought I might be enabling them in some sort of addiction. Shamefully, I let that thought rule me, so I drove past them, giving nothing. Then one day it hit me: money isn't the only thing I could give him; I could give food, water, even clothing. So, one day I searched my car for anything I had on hand. Thankfully, I had a granola bar. I reached out and handed the bar to a man, and he gratefully accepted. After that, my perspective changed forever. Even with a busy schedule, I could still serve. I work at a bulk discount store, so I have plenty of snacks to spare. Now, I carry apples, granola bars, water bottles, and clothes I don't wear anymore, always ready to give at a moment's notice. Matthew 25:34-45 speaks of feeding the hungry, clothing the… Read More

  • Church Activities Unique Ministries

    THE VAN MINISTRY

    There are people in our community who would love to come to church, but they just don't have the means to get there. Public transportation in our small city is infrequent and can be costly. But everyone deserves the chance to attend church. That's why I started a van ministry. I coordinate four vans going to various parts of our community each Sunday morning. This ministry is more than just about driving a van and picking people up. Our van drivers get to know the people on their route. We pray with them as they share their needs. When we arrive at church, we bring them into the cafeteria and provide a light breakfast before the service. I know it's making a huge impact as I see the growth in the lives of their children. I see the gratitude in the eyes of the elderly no longer able to drive. Often, many of these people are new and don't know anyone. We invite them to sit with us and introduce them to our friends. We pray with them and just show as much of Christ's love as we can. We even create take-home bags for those we know could use the extra food, giving it to them as they leave the van when we drop them off. Everyone should be able to get to church if they want. I'm happy to provide a way to do that.

  • Unique Ministries Verbalizing the Gospel

    HELPING NEIGHBORS LEARN ENGLISH

    My inner-city neighborhood is home to around 6,600 residents, nearly 25% of whom do not speak English as their primary language. Since English-language proficiency is a gateway to jobs and better education, some of my education major classmates and I decided to serve our neighbors through English tutoring. Each week, I coordinate nearly 70 university students, myself included, to teach English to area residents. We go to their apartment complexes for home tutoring or teach in a local community center. Volunteering to teach English is just part of it. The real reward comes from the formation of friendships that transcend cultural barriers. For months, my ten-year-old student, Nora, had been asking to go to the mall for her birthday. When that day came, several of us spent the day with her and her mom exploring the wonders of the mall. The best part? It came when I was able to speak words of truth about Jesus to Nora and her mom. We were able to explain and tangibly show how dearly loved and valuable they are to us and to God.

  • Children Mission Trips Unique Ministries

    USING ART TO CONNECT WITH GOD

    I'll never forget the day in Guatemala when my missions team came across some children on the street. In an effort to build relationships with the kids, some of my teammates started chatting in their limited Spanish. I sat down with a boy who was a little separated from the group, and after exhausting the few Spanish phrases I knew, a teammate told him I was an art teacher. He jumped up, ran home and returned with a pack of crayons. We sat on the curb drawing animals, trucks, and whatever else he could think of. God showed me that art is a way to communicate all on its own. I never saw the boy again, but I hope he saw Jesus’ love through a stranger spending time drawing with him. Once I returned home, I began discipling my peers in creative worship and making space for kids from other countries to express themselves creatively. One day, my mentor was talking about personal prayer language, and I started thinking about how art is another layer of communication with God. It’s completely individualized, showing how He created me for a unique purpose. Once I saw art as a way to communicate with God, I realized it could be a way to connect with others about God. As I share who God is through art, I hope others can connect with God in their own unique way.

  • Children Unique Ministries

    A MINISTRY I NEVER WANTED

    I thought I knew what it meant to follow Christ and to take up my cross. But, over the years, I have learned that God often gives us ministry opportunities that we've never asked for and certainly never wanted. When my heart was broken as a young single woman, God gave me a ministry I never wanted. He gave me a group of women with broken hearts to come alongside. Ministering to other single women was incredibly rewarding but also vulnerable and painful. Years later, God called me to a new ministry in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit. I never imagined spending nine months in a hospital with my very sick son. I remember holding him and thinking that once again, God had given me a ministry I never wished for. I can't say I did this unwanted ministry well on most days. But, I have a few select memories of God working through my presence in this unlikely mission field. I held a mom as her son's heart rate fell to zero and the code alarm sounded. I prayed for so many heart babies whom I would never have known without this season. I prayed for my own son and sang songs to him about our big God and told him about heaven. This was my ministry. I wouldn't trade this previously unwanted mission field for the world, no matter how painful. Now that we have lost our son, I find myself in a new ministry. I never wanted to be in the "I lost a child" club, nor… Read More

  • Mission Trips Verbalizing the Gospel

    A RADICAL TRANSFORMATION

    Before Jesus, I was a bit of a rebel. I was a lone wolf who lived a “Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n Roll” lifestyle. My heart was hardened, and I hid my pain by being the life of the party. Four years ago, I hit rock bottom and did not want to live anymore. I gave my life to God in a jail cell and was a completely new man walking out of captivity. Despite my wretched situation, I had overwhelming peace when I got released. Months later, God showed His love, mercy, and grace when I received a very light punishment in court. Now, I am a man after God’s own heart. I love Jesus, other people, and even myself. My heart is to share Jesus with everyone through the example of my life. I recently returned from a year traveling to eleven countries to share the Gospel and basically live out what we read in the book of Acts. It was a year of incredible adventure and deep intimacy with the Lord. I knew I didn’t want to stop sharing His love when I returned home, so I am traveling across the United States sharing Jesus, while relying on God’s provision for absolutely everything. No matter what I am doing, I want to reflect Jesus wherever I am. I look at each day as a mission trip where I encounter new people to share the Good News of Jesus. Knowing the difference in who I was and who I am in Jesus lights a fire in my heart… Read More

  • Children Church Activities

    THE SUMMER CAMP COUNSELOR

    I kind of stumbled upon being a camp counselor. As a teacher, I have my summers pretty free which I treasured. I usually traveled, took some time off, and prepared for the upcoming school year. A few years ago, our pastor said we had a bunch of kids that wanted to go to summer camp, but couldn't because each church had to send a counselor for every so many kids. Apparently, no one could take a week to go. I didn't even pray about it. I had the time, I am good with kids, and I know the Lord sometimes just drops these opportunities in our laps to embrace. That began what has become part of my summer schedule. Each year, I take a group of kids to camp and watch as the Lord impacts their lives. And we have a blast while that change happens! Some of these kids have been coming to camp with me for years. I've gotten to know them so well. I get to see some of them in the hallways at school. And I see almost all of them each week at church. I love when they run up to me telling me what new Scripture they've learned or about something that's going on in their life. I love the opportunity to spend not only an entire week with these kids, but then continue to impact their lives throughout the year. I simply can't imagine a better way to spend a week of my summer. It is the highlight of my year.

  • Children Prayer Verbalizing the Gospel

    PRAYING AT SCHOOL

    I've always been taught to not be ashamed of my faith. So going to a public school, I've always considered it my mission field. Exercising my faith and displaying my relationship with Christ all started when I was in 4th grade. Who would've thought that something as small as praying before I ate my lunch would cause so much attention and curiosity? Several of my peers stared at me---some with distaste, others with support. I never let the weird looks shift me away from praying. This continued into 7th grade, when I met a girl who also believed in God but was struggling with her faith. Daily, she would ask me questions about God. Seeing my opportunity to witness, I started bringing my Bible to school. Together, we explored the Bible, finding the answers to her questions. We listened to Christian music, prayed together, and frequently talked about God. In the 8th grade, she told me she truly felt different, like a new and better person. She gave her heart to Christ that year and was baptized. I was in awe of how God was using me. Excited, I continued to display my faith, even on the football field, which is a completely different atmosphere. I remember being partnered with a teammate, who wasn't the nicest guy. I was always praying, before games, before practice or when a teammate got injured. Slowly, I noticed my teammate changing. His behaviors changed and he, too, started to pray. We started praying together, even before lifting weights. Now as a sophomore, I know God is using me to be a light in my school and on the… Read More

  • Prayer

    NOW PART OF THE PRAYER MINISTRY

    My entire life was spent helping my husband in ministry. As a pastor's wife and mother, my work and ministry were never done. For years, we worked side by side tirelessly to see people come to faith in Christ, and then teach students at a Bible school how to do that very same thing. Now, my dear husband has passed on to his eternal reward, and I am unable to get around like I used to. I thought my days of ministry were behind me. I really wasn't sure what to do with myself now that I am confined to my home. I am so thankful for a church that helped me find a ministry I can do from home: a prayer ministry. Each week, the church sends me prayer cards filled out by members of the congregation. I then spend a few hours each day calling them and praying with them over the phone. Over the last few years, I have prayed for thousands of people and seen the Lord do amazing things. I am so thankful I am still able to be used by the Lord for great and mighty things. Prayer isn't just something to fill my days. Prayer is the true work of ministry to the Body of Christ. I feel what I am doing now is even more vital to the kingdom of God than anything I have done before.

  • Church Activities Labor Unique Ministries

    THE SERVANT PASTOR

    To a lot of people, the word "pastor" implies leading without serving. The truth is so much different. We are part of the body of Christ, just like people in our congregation. I felt called to the ministry in 1988. I was a young man attending a retreat in New Mexico, and during the last night, I felt God calling out to me. He said, "come serve me," and He wouldn't let me go until I did. Up until that point in my life, I'd been helping my dad run his air conditioning business. When I left that field to pursue a life in God, I never realized how much He would utilize my previous experience to bring glory to His kingdom. I have chased hard after Christ's will in my life, but not just by preaching and teaching His word on the weekends. To me, fulfilling my call as a pastor is about serving. It's about doing the lowest of the low jobs, not holding any arrogance or pride. Even at fifty years old, I still work as an A/C man for a great company in Austin, Texas. In that, God has given me the opportunity to reach out to my lost coworkers in a way that a Sunday morning sermon couldn't. I've been able to live out Christ's example, even in a regular job. Jesus himself washed his disciples feet. "Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as… Read More

  • Children Labor Unique Ministries

    RAISING MEN LAWN CARE SERVICE

    I was having a hard time deciding what I was going to do with my life. I prayed that God would use me as His vessel. I didn't hear anything from Him for a while. But in 2015, I was driving my car and saw an elderly man really struggling to cut his grass. So I got out of my car and helped him finish the yard. When I was driving away, I was amazed at how good that felt. And I truly believed God was speaking to me. So as I was finishing up my computer science degree, I would find widows, veterans, disabled or elderly people that needed their grass cut and just do it. For free. I couldn't believe how it touched them. So many of these people had lost a lot of joy in their lives. More than cutting their lawn, I'd spend time listening to their stories. So this was not just about taking care of their yard; it was showing them they matter and that God cares for them. Then I started getting kids in my city involved, encouraging them to take care of yards for people that couldn't do it themselves. We'll even blow leaves in the fall, and shovel snow in the winter. I give them a free t-shirt once they take care of ten yards, and if they do 50 yards, I'll give them a free lawn mower. It was my way of mentoring and training young men to give back to their community. Now it's developed into a ministry called Raising Men Lawn Care Service. We have 244 kids throughout the United States and… Read More

  • Unique Ministries Verbalizing the Gospel

    SHARING HOPE WITH OTHER ADDICTS

    I was a shell of a human being. By the time I was 20 years old, my drinking progressed to the point where I was emotionally and spiritually isolated from everyone around me. I abandoned my childhood faith and thought if God was real, He wouldn't want anything to do with a person like me. But I was given a beautiful solution to my addiction when I joined a 12-step fellowship and was able to reconnect with God. Recovery has allowed me to regain my family's trust, maintain genuine friendships, graduate from college, have a healthy relationship with my boyfriend, keep a job, and feel a sense of purpose through helping sick and suffering alcoholics and addicts. Recovery has transformed my idea of God and the personal relationship I have with him today. The most transformative, faith-renewing part of this journey has been talking about God with other alcoholics and addicts. No matter what kind of struggles you have overcome, your story can help others. I used to feel so much shame over the things I did, but I know God is using my past to help others in the same situation. The only reason why I'm able to do this is because someone else showed me the way by sharing their experience. I'm so thankful to now be that person for others. My walk with God hasn't been perfect. There have been times where I questioned him, even in sobriety, but I find He always brings me back to the truth. God never turned His back on me when… Read More

  • Children Prayer

    BECOMING A FOSTER FAMILY

    For years, my ministry revolved around music. I joyfully played the piano every week for worship. And during the week, I taught piano lessons to children in the church with the hope that they, too, would embrace a love of worship of God through music. Most of my time, though, was invested in my family. My three girls became the main focus of my life. I was very content with my music and my little family. But one day, I saw a booth at our local festival for fostering children. As I looked at the pictures of the faces of little children on the brochure, my heart broke. Then, as I looked at the faces of my three not-so-little girls, I realized I had to talk with my husband and daughters about fostering children. Within a few short months, we became licensed foster parents. We prayed each night as a family for the children who would join our family. And one beautiful, scary day, our social worker brought two little children into our home. These little ones became a part of our family. My girls embraced their role as older sisters and took care of them, reading to them, helping me make their food, and playing with them. My husband and I prayed with our new little charges multiple times each day as we worked to bring stability and trust into their young lives. Although I still play each week for worship and teach piano lessons, my true calling, my true ministry, are the little children that social workers bring… Read More

  • Church Activities Labor

    USING MY SKILLS FOR GOD’S GLORY

    I am a foreman of a construction crew. I really enjoy what I do for a living. I get to work with my hands, and with the help of my crew, create something that is needed. It's a lot of fun to see a bridge be built, a building rise out of nothing, or a road be fixed. At church, I do similar work for God. There always seems to be a need for something to be built. Whether it's a half pipe for the teenagers to skate on, the set of a musical for the children, more risers for the choir, or a large stand for a giant Christmas tree, I find myself very busy with work at the church. I may not be preaching or even participating in the musical itself, but I know my skills are needed in each area of ministry. I am helping teenagers come to Christ. I am helping children be discipled. And all that is just through my natural abilities of building. Some people might think I'm a little rough around the edges, and maybe I am. But working with my hands at church brings me a lot of joy. I am so glad that I am able to use my skills for God's glory.

  • Church Activities Unique Ministries

    REACHING OUT TO INTERNATIONALS

    I am from India, and came to America three years ago to work on my doctorate. When my wife and I arrived, we knew we needed to find a church, but we quickly realized that most churches in our town are not diverse at all. Once we settled on what has now become our church here, we spoke to our pastor about this. We know there are communities in our town of various ethnicities, where many of the people just recently came to America. Our pastor looked at us, and asked what we would like to do about it. This began our ministry to internationals in our community. Each week, we have local teachers come to our church to tutor new internationals in English. Every month, we host a dinner and invite all the internationals we know in the community. Then, we get contact information from them and visit them. Many have now decided to attend our church because of those dinners and visits. These internationals feel like our church is a part of their community. Since we have more internationals at our church, we host prayer events for the countries represented within our congregation. I didn't intend on starting a new ministry. I'm a father or two little boys, a husband, a full-time doctoral student, and I have a job, so my time is very limited. However, I am so thankful for this ministry. We have found the community we were longing for, and we have seen many come to the Lord as a result. There are countless international… Read More

  • Children Labor Unique Ministries

    GOWNS FOR HIS GLORY

    Gowns for His Glory started with a dream seven years ago to provide prom dresses and accessories to area high school girls free of charge. Prom is one of the most expensive nights in high school and no matter what their financial situation, every girl should be able to attend her prom. I understand how important it is to these girls. But sometimes financial difficulties can make finding the perfect dress or shoes impossible because their families simply can’t afford it. So, this became a unique way for me to serve and minister to the community. Now in its seventh year, Gowns for His Glory has provided over 3,000 dresses to high school teens in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. There’s no limitation on who we’ll serve. Our motto really is, ‘first come, all served.' Gowns for His Glory is not affiliated with any other organization in the community, and we started this out of our own pockets. I’ve really just relied on the Lord and His direction. And our amazing community members. I really wouldn’t have been able to make it happen if it wasn’t for them. Each year, I get a front row seat to see the looks on their faces as the girls “shop” for dresses and accessories. They may not verbalize their feelings, but I know their hearts are touched deeply. It is God’s plan for me to help these girls. And that’s exactly what I plan on continuing to do.