Though raised in Christian homes, my mom and dad were not Christians until after I was born. They built a home in the then-new neighbourhood of Idylwylde when I was a toddler.
A person from a new church plant in the area knocked on our door, inviting us come. We did go. It was the spur for my parents to become Christ-followers. A thriving new community church and parents who committed themselves to Christ created a healthy setting for me to experience what it meant to be Christian.
I was about six when my father decided to follow Christ. He had dutifully taken us to church for years and patiently sat in the back row with the family. After one Sunday evening worship experience, a group of men asked Dad if they could pray for him. He agreed.
I still have a vivid memory of looking up to arms reaching out to my father as I cuddled close to him.
As they prayed, I whispered, “Dad, give your life to Jesus.” And he did.
I watched this quiet, tough guy be mentored and discipled to a man of God.
Fond memories are climbing on his back as he knelt in our living room, bible in front of him on the sofa praying for others. Of his loving, under-the-breath prayers for me during Saturday night baths (of course in time to watch Hockey Night In Canada). Of tucking me in at night and praying for me.
Our family moved from the back row of the church to near the front. Again, it was a Sunday night worship experience. I was about ten and feeling the tug of the Holy Spirit.
Dad whispered, “Do you remember when you encouraged me to follow Christ? Now it’s your turn”. And I did.
I, too, was mentored and discipled by my church family and my mom and Dad. My identity today as one who worships and follows Christ is rooted in those formative early days.