As we’ve been working through the Gospel According to Mark, we’ve discussed the power that a single encounter with another person can have in our lives. We asked some of our members to share what this has practically looked like in their own lives.
Of all the people whose lives have had a strong influence on me, one person in particular that I am especially grateful for is my younger brother Scott, for his pursuit of Jesus and living out the Gospel message. We grew up in Christian churches and attended Christian schools most of our lives. When I was about 10 or 11, our father said the sinner’s prayer with my two younger brothers and me. I asked Jesus to be my Savior and was baptized, and from that moment there were many times that I felt "on fire" for God in my youth.
By college I'd become more concerned with friends, dating and partying than a relationship with Jesus. I rarely went to church or prayed, aside from the occasional "mini-crisis" prayer. Scott and I were roommates then, and he remained a very studious and shy kid. Despite the many promptings from his two older brothers to join in our foolish pursuits, Scott continued to pursue God. I took note of it and thought of him admirably, but was not much encouraged to change my ways.
Over the course of the next five years or so, I attempted to quell my thoughts and feelings of hopelessness and despair with relationships, entertainment, and addictions. Conversely, my brother, the once extremely shy kid I knew growing up had recently gone on a college mission trip and joined the Air Force. (We were all surprised by this one). It was very evident the impact a relationship with Jesus Christ had in Scott's life. He was about to embark on his first assignment and move to Denver. I knew I really needed a fresh start, and more importantly a renewed relationship with God. We talked about being roommates again. After some brief prayer and contemplation, I felt a peace about the decision. So we packed up and moved 1,100 miles from home to start new lives.
I quickly realized that my inner junk and turmoil didn't stay behind as I had hoped. For at least the first year afterwards, I questioned if I’d made the right decision. God was still pursuing me though and clearing out the junk in my life little by little. Scott told me he’d befriended a guy in college who had also recently moved to Denver to help his brother start a church plant. One night, he invited me join them at Wahoo's for some fish tacos. It was really exciting to hear how God called a group of them, largely people younger than me, to move across the country to reach the lost in a largely "unchurched" city.
We were at another church then, but had not committed as members yet. Eventually, Scott began attending the Summit as well as City Group gatherings. He invited me a few times, and several people immediately welcomed me. I saw and felt God's love on display among them. Their calling to "be missionaries to the city" was evident. This then led to a couple extremely helpful conversations with Andy. So after some prayer and brief apprehension, I decided it was time to re-dedicate my life to Christ and commit to a church home. Because of God's influence through Scott, I chose him to baptize me as a sign of this new commitment to Jesus.
In the time since, Scott has continued to be a great example of what it means to pursue Christ in all things, as have many at the Summit. So again, I give thanks to God for my “little” brother, and all of my Summit family. I praise Him for the salvation and joy we have through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and I'm continually humbled and emboldened by the powerful and sanctifying work of his Holy Spirit.