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How ABC Became Our Place to Flourish
John 4.21b-24 (ESV)
Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
ABC becomes our church
The pandemic coincided with the birth of our first child in November 2019 (Caleb). His mother (Kelly) was deciding if she would go back to teaching after maternity leave when the announcement came that no one would be going back to school in person for the remainder of the year. Raising our first child during the pandemic was a surreal experience. We can now reflect on how blessed we were to both get so much time with Caleb, and how special it was to have so few distractions pulling us in other directions. Unfortunately, this was also the first summer after our church disbanded and we were looking for a new church to call home. Kelly knew about the Ambassador Bible Church because of a connection from our prior church plant, so it was the first (and only) church we took a look at. After the whole family was able to join the first outdoor service, we knew this was going to be the church for our growing family to flourish in faith and fellowship. Kelly and I found small groups, got connected into ministry service, and started to build critical personal relationships. Caleb quickly joined a growing group of children who love to play and run around the church before, during, and after services.
A library starts with one book
Early in the pandemic, I began reading theology books as my go-to hobby for unwinding in the evenings. The pandemic and raising a small child meant that I had even more time to pour into reading theology. My adventure started with Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones’s “Studies in the Sermon on the Mount,” which was recommended to me by the co-lead of my small group. As a small group, we were reading through the bible together and this early section in Matthew struck me as difficult to put into practice. As I began reading and working through the applied aspects of the sermon on the mount, I found myself really enjoying and getting into systematic and exegetical theology.
Helping others talk about God
Kelly consistently encouraged me to consider how I could use my interest in theology to serve the community. Eventually, in 2021, Kelly convinced me to consider seminary. Her exhortation was to see how I could use my individual competency in reasoning about theological concepts to enrich the lives of the brothers around me - both in small-group and in our church. I reached out to Pastor John Park to talk about my interest in seminary and he encouraged me to partner with Roger Lee in teaching what would become the equip class “Foundations of the Christian Faith.” It was a wonderful experience to work through the EFCA statement of faith as a group and to co-teach that first class. Theology was no longer just for my own understanding, but it was a means to build up the body of believers. John and Roger affirmed and encouraged me to pursue seminary and, in 2022, I started my program at GCTS (Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary - the same program that Roger had previously completed and recommended). I look forward to continuing my seminary journey, partnering with new teachers on equip classes, leading a small group, and teaching our 3rd-5th grade students in kids ministry.
By Nicholas Keune
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