This verse is really my testimony of growing up in the church in Anaheim, California, quite literally surrounded by the elders and co-workers along with their wives.
When I was very young, I remember brother Witness Lee coming to my house and stooping down, opening up his arms to embrace me and my three other siblings. I was a typical kid, sliding down the banisters at the meeting hall. I was never scolded or told to keep quiet by anyone. Rather, once as I was mid-slide, an elder came up to me and simply talked to me about my life in elementary school. He was also the one who gave me my first Bible, which I treasure to this day. I didn’t know anything then, just that these people loved me.
As I grew older, I began to realize that my family lived for the Lord and His church. I never heard my father exalt Witness Lee or put him on a pedestal, rather I witnessed him being captivated by the New Testament ministry and giving his whole life to it.
My father bore responsibility in the church and he did not pretend or put on a show in the meetings; he was the same at home and he lived that way. My parents never forced me to attend the local church meetings or the Full-Time Training in Anaheim, but I saw a life of genuine happiness and contentment with my parents and many others and I knew I wanted that.
Growing in the Lord and realizing how enjoyable the Lord Jesus and His word are, I wanted to carry out my organic function as a member of the Body of Christ and prophesy in the church meetings.
But being young, I was self-conscious and nervous to get up and speak. However, I was always encouraged to do so.
One time, I prophesied at a college conference on the last day. A particular co-worker, who was close to my family and whom I grew up calling ‘Uncle,’ called me and left a message on my phone that he wasn’t able to see me after the meeting but he really enjoyed and was encouraged by my sharing. This was so encouraging to me and gave me to courage to continue to overflow my enjoyment of Christ to others in church meetings.
At a particular time in my life, I was struggling spiritually and opened up my situation to a co-worker and his wife. I was never judged, rather I was led to the Lord in the sweetest way. I thought this co-worker would be too busy with important matters, such as preparing to speak a message, but he and his wife just served me with their time, prayer and proper love in the Lord. The shepherding I received from them is immeasurable and the benefit is still present in my life.
My heart is just full of thanksgiving for the dear saints who love me, shepherd me and are a pattern of proper believers in the Lord.
“Remember the ones leading you, who have spoken to you the word of God; and considering the issue of their manner of life, imitate their faith.” – Hebrews 13:7
Sharing by Jennifer McNutt from her experience of the church life and her enjoyment in the local churches.
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