I was invited to dinner to meet a friend and his guests at a country club. On my right was a well-known basketball coach, and on my left the owner of the club.
We talked basketball for a little while, but most of our conversation centered around our personal ‘faith stories’. After listening to everyone, the owner said, “Steve, I’m a Catholic, can I be a Christian?”!
I shared my story, which was very similar. I had to learn that my parents’ commitment wasn’t enough. I needed to let God know I was committing my life to him.
He tapped me on the shoulder and took me outside. Under a beautiful starry night he said “I want that”. “Want what?” I asked. “I want that relationship with Jesus. I suppose this is where I pray after you.”
I told him I thought he already knew how to talk to God and asked him to pray aloud. He began the most intimate prayer that I have ever heard offering his life to Jesus. Then I prayed, confirming that I heard his commitment and asked God to bless him.
I encouraged him to tell someone the commitment that he had made. He went to the friend who had invited me and watched then embrace.
For years people around that table had prayed for this man. He just needed someone who had a similar story to explain what he didn’t understand. He’s emailed me since with thanks for telling him my story.
Leighton Ford once told me that I am the world’s leading expert – on my story! I’m glad I have shared it often – and especially that evening.
Meet Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson made a commitment of his life to Christ at 16 years old and immediately felt led to share the Gospel with those around him. While attending the University of Wisconsin and Bethel Theological Seminary, along with his wife Lynne, Steve started several churches. Eventually he and his brother Paul helped this church planting movement to grow to over 600 churches. This took place while pastoring Community Church in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Steve also co-founded a second global church planting ministry called Vision360 and currently, with Lynne, started a mentoring program for high capacity leaders called 2xGlobal (www.2xGlobal.com). Steve has a speaking ministry across the country, always with the goal of leading people to Christ and then helping them to reach their God given potential.
Taken from Good News Is For Sharing (Revised edition, 2017 – Leighton Ford Ministries)