I get wonderful testimonies all the time, but I seem to rarely remember to record them. This week in our group one woman, the wife of a pastor started talking about how much the course I have been writing and leading had impacted not only her but her entire church (through her), I asked her if she would write it all down for me. Here is what she sent:
In recent years, Christian churches have began to talk a lot about self-realization, calling, gifts, and such. The reality is that especially in larger churches, where the number of parishioners is greater than a small group, people tend to imperceptibly transform the service into a work routine. Ministry and success in the ministry takes first place, overshadowing a close relationship with God and between people. What happens is that we strive to the heights of spirituality, not realizing that without quality relationships, including love, everything else is in vain (1 Cor.13).
Through this course I, as a minister, but primarily as a Christian, I saw in my life shift in focus from God’s values to my own interests. We all remember the words of Christ in John 17 that the only evidence for the unbelieving world will be unity and love among the disciples. Therefore, the devil strikes at the most important: love relationships with God and people. None of us can stand alone, and this fact is all the more relevant today. From without the Enemy cannot defeat a unified church; it can only happen if you break her up from within by stealing love and sowing confusion and preoccupation with self. Unity in the church and a love for Truth is a powerful force. You can go after so-called “spiritual goals” passing by the pain and needs of real people. Then what is the worth of such a ministry, and who needs it at all?
Thank you for how in a certain way through this training the Lord has helped me see a person up close. A combination of an atmosphere of support, a proper understanding of cooperation with God and in the Body of Christ, coming to understand of myself and what I have been given by God have changed me, and as a consequence, my surroundings, my local church. The process is gaining momentum, so that it is no longer just me speaking, those around me are beginning to apply it in a wider circle of friends and interconnected relations. All that remains for me to do is simply thank God and be a witness of the fact that what God is looking for is just one person to change, and through him will come the rest. I believe that the problem of relationships and values globally concerns the whole Christian world, at least most of it. I’ve come to the conclusion that it is important to change the views of the leaders in the churches; a change in their thinking can quickly change the situation in the church due to their influence and the authority that they have. I’ve stopped seeing just goals and ministry objectives. I see people now and what is valuable in the eyes of God, not what’s in it for me. Clearly, the Lord is teaching us what love is through relationships with people.
With this in mind, by the grace of God, I have begun talking about the importance of relationships and eternal values, both with believers and unbelievers. I would say that this topic definitely affects both. It’s as though I am starting to reveal the very essence of human existence, and people are starting to wonder: “Who am I,” “Where am I going?” and “Where is this leading?”
The course is very relevant, practical and valuable! Thank God!