On Saturday, over sixty people gathered for a mass baptism at our house, involving various fellowships and ministries relating together here in Virginia.
After we buried lots of old natures, and lifted lots of new believers up into that same resurrection power that raised Christ from the dead, we enjoyed a cookout and just hangin’ with each other.
It was one of the most amazing days of ministry and fellowship Marianne and I ever experienced.
Healthy fellowships reproduce life!
One story of redemption that touched me, out of many told on Saturday by men and women we’ve helped mentor in the Lord, was by Mark.
Mark had a dramatic conversion and met Jesus big time through an indigenous fellowship in the jail, where I’ve been honored over the years to help strengthen men in the Lord. Mark now hosts a fellowship in his home for other men who’ve come out of jail or prison.
Three weeks ago, his son met the Lord in jail – through the same in-jail fellowship.
Mark was baptized on Saturday, then had the privilege of baptizing his own son – who had just been released from jail – while weeping tears of joy.
God is good.
- Resurrection Power and Water Baptism (crossroadjunction.com)
Jim, I LOVE baptisms and you can be sure I am off to the side praising God and crying at the same time when I am there. I am so happy to hear the story of Mark and I praise God for the work God has done through you and others in the prison and other fellowships you support.
Sounds great. Were these all first-time baptisms? Just amazed at the number and wondering why there were so many. God’s work in the hearts of our fellow humans is such a great thing to be a part of. God bless your ministry in the jail, brother.
These were almost all new converts and thus, to the best of my knowledge, first-time baptisms (other than maybe some having experienced an infant baptism rather than a believer baptism in the past).
Nearly all of the fellowships and ministries relating together here are growing through new believers. Why? Because we go to those who know they are lost, rather than existing Christians.
Our attitude is to start truly new fellowships, rather than create fellowship re-treads. Too many try the re-tread approach, and call it church planting – but it seldom works. Thus, we “go” to those who know they are lost, rather than say “come” to those who are merely discontent with their prior church experience.
Trying to create fellowships and community by attracting discontent Christians only reproduces more discontent Christians – whether you are operating in a traditional church, organic church or some other kind of church framework. It just doesn’t work – which is why so many churches are anemic today. We decided years ago to break out of that cycle, and we’ve never looked back!
I just love this! Greetings to the brethren there…