Chase’s Faith Story
I’m one of those Christians who was saved around the age of 7. My mom was strong in her faith and made sure we were at church on most Sundays, although my father never came. I always believed in God but only prayed to him when I needed help or wanted his favor in big basketball or baseball games. Through college and into my mid 20’s I drifted away from God a bit and spent most of my weekends partying. I still went to church on Sundays, but knew I wasn’t pursuing God and what he wanted me to do with my life.
Around 5 years ago, I was unemployed after being laid off from my job as a financial advisor. I was praying to God more often as I tend to do in the tough times of my life. I started reading the bible more, was listening to a lot of Rick Warren sermons and reading Purpose Driven Life, in order to try and figure out the next job God had planned for me. I was still going out to the bars a lot of weekends with buddies but showing up at church on most Sundays as well. I knew I needed to make a change and follow God more, but I didn’t know how to do it. While listening to a sermon online, I heard Rick Warren say, “You can tell where a person’s heart is by the people they hang around with and how they spend their time and money”. I felt God nudging me to let go and trust him, so I decided to start with the thing that plagued me the most at the time: money. I started tithing 10% of my unemployment check every week. It wasn’t easy, but I had to trust that God would provide for me. Over the next year God led me into a new career as a real estate agent, to use the talents He gave me for business and managing relationships. I have to say that giving 10% of today’s income is a little harder than 10% of my unemployment check was, but I keep in mind that it’s all God’s anyhow and I continue to see his blessings multiply in my life.
After I moved to Burnsville, I began looking for a new church home with Steph who was my girlfriend at the time, but is now my wife! After trying a few different churches, we still didn’t feel like we had found the place for us. On our way home one Sunday, we passed Faith Covenant a couple blocks from our house, as we had many times before. Steph suggested we try it out the following Sunday. We went to Faith Covenant a few times and decided to stick with it. Shortly after one of the pastors at the time (John Foley) asked me to be in a small group with him. I couldn’t believe it. I figured it was nearly impossible to get access to a pastor much less be in a small group with one. It was another answer to prayer, which led to bible study and close friendships with a group of five guys. We are still meeting weekly, almost four years later and I am constantly learning and gaining wisdom about living more like Jesus.
I’ve learned that saying yes to God and Jesus is just the first step. Actually following God and learning to be a disciple is a lifelong process. It starts with getting in the word and praying daily. These things are essential if you want God to change your heart. The more you read and pray, the more connected to Him you will feel and you will slowly begin to reflect His image. My wife Stephanie always says my small groups have made me a better man and in the three months since our wedding, a better husband.