Meet Brenda from Spring Lake Park.
My story starts three and a half years ago when I first stepped into Eagle Brook Church at Spring Lake Park. I was amazed. Church never felt so good! I was especially appreciative of the subtle ways that EBC catered to new people like me. I was welcomed, inspired, and challenged at that first encounter and I couldn’t wait for more!
I didn’t grow up going to church. As a child I never really understood why we didn’t. Occasionally I would go to church with friends but I was very insecure about doing it right. I was worried about what to say, what words to sing, when to sit/stand/kneel, etc. It made it really difficult to experience God. I felt dumb for not knowing more about God and for not understanding the Bible stories.
As an adult, I bounced around between a few churches, but my main motivation was that my kids experience church and God since I did not as a child. As we tried different churches, we just went through the motions. At the various churches we attended, there was never any mention of my relationship with God or of growing in my faith, nor was I challenged to read my Bible. I look back now and realize how little I learned. I was no further along than I was as a kid.
Shortly after visiting EBC for the first time, I attended the Starting Point class and had a chance to talk to SLP campus pastor, Steve Whicker. Having made that face-to-face connection was enough for me to be comfortable calling him with a few questions. I wanted to commit to following Jesus but I didn’t want to pray by myself. I also wanted to know how I was supposed to know how to live as Jesus had intended with little to no experience.
God answered both of those questions one Saturday at church through Teaching Pastor Jason Strand. He held up a Bible and told us everything we needed to know about how to live following Jesus was in THIS book and closed the message by guiding us in a prayer for those of us who wanted to start a new life in Christ. That was it! I did it and I was so excited!
My next step was to call Pastor Steve because I wanted to be baptized and the next service was in a couple of weeks. I wasn’t sure if I could do it that soon. Pastor Steve assured me that yes, I should go ahead with the baptism as a public declaration of my new faith! Making it even more special, my daughter, who had committed her life to Jesus earlier that summer at Bible camp, joined me and we were baptized together! We were lucky enough to have Pastor Steve baptize us and I have beautiful pictures that make me smile!
EBC continues to welcome and inspire me. I’ve started giving, serving, reading my Bible, and joined a small group. My kids are actively involved in Elevate and Ground Zero, as well. I thank God for EBC and the path that allowed me to find my way to this fabulous church.