What difference can one year make? For Dan and Misty Matthews, one year literally made an eternal difference.
Dan and Misty attended our church for the first time on Easter Sunday 2018. One year later, on Easter Sunday of this year, they were both baptized after publicly expressing their faith in Jesus.
Like many people, Dan and Misty decided to attend a local church service on Easter Sunday last year. They became regular attenders and soon registered for my Next Step class, which is designed to introduce new and perspective members to our church. At the conclusion of the class, Dan and Misty requested to meet with me to discuss their relationship with Christ and church membership.
When we met, Misty shared that since attending our church, she had come to a place of trusting in Christ as her Savior, but Dan hadn’t come to that point. His heart and mind were filled with questions and doubt.
I agreed to be a sounding board to Dan, allowing him to ask any questions he had about Christ and Christianity. Over the next several months, Dan also took it upon himself to read books and online articles on his journey of faith.
Dan and Misty faithfully attended worship every week, and we would meet periodically to talk. After one meeting earlier this year, Dan looked at me with tears running down his face and said, “I want to believe, I really do. But I still have questions.” In March, our church launched a “Who’s Your One?” evangelistic initiative. Immediately, I knew Dan was my “one.” While I had been praying for Dan since we first met, I began to pray even more intently during this five-week campaign. The Lord led my wife and me to a partial fast for 21 days for Dan, our church, the campaign and the upcoming Easter services. God deeply burdened my heart for Dan’s soul. I prayed for Dan like I have never prayed before.
“Today, I choose to believe and trust in Jesus!”
My church staff, my discipleship group and others all prayed for Dan. During the second week of our “Who’s Your One?” emphasis, I invited Dan to breakfast. We ate, had a casual chat and then I finally turned the conversation and asked, “So, Dan, where are you with the Lord right now?”
Dan shared that he felt God was working in his heart, but he still had questions.
“Trusting Jesus is a step of faith,” I explained. “God never intended for us to have answers to all our questions. We would not need Him if this were so.”
A few weeks later on Palm Sunday, I preached a message from John 1:35-41 stressing the importance of not just pointing people to Jesus, but presenting people with Jesus. During the invitation following the service, God did a special work.
Many came forward to make decisions for Christ, recommitments and request church membership. As I finished praying with one couple, I turned around, and there stood Dan and Misty, waiting for me at the altar.
Tears were streaming down Misty’s face, and Dan’s too.
I asked Dan why he had come forward. He said, “I’ve realized today that faith is trusting in Jesus. I’m OK with not knowing everything or having all my questions answered. God’s not going to reveal anything else to me that He hasn’t already revealed. He’s not going to write anything in the sky. So, today, I choose to believe and trust in Jesus!”
One week later, on Easter Sunday 2019, I had the privilege to baptize Dan and Misty as followers of Jesus.
God can do amazing things when we are obedient to pray, be intentional about sharing the gospel and trust the Lord to draw others to Himself.
Who is the “Dan” that God has placed in your life? Who’s your one?
Join us on Nov. 12 at 6:15 p.m. to hear Ronnie Floyd, president and CEO of the SBC’s executive committee, to learn about sharing the gospel with one individual in hopes that they will come to know Christ. #WhosYour1
Visit ncannualmeeting.org for more information.