I didn’t grow up in the church in any fashion. In high school I felt like maybe there was no god, then in my 20s I started to believe there was something out there but felt no need to chase it. Eventually, I married my wife, who had a church background but understood she was marrying a man with no intention of going to church or diving into religion. She never expected that to happen and knew that I wasn’t going to do anything I didn’t want to do, so she didn’t force it.
Around 2015, I decided that I needed to be a better father and a better husband, so we decided to start visiting Crossroads as a family. We enjoyed the community, and I started volunteering on the First Impressions team because I knew that this was a big place and if you just show up on Sundays, you’re missing out on a lot of stuff. Later, I engaged fully in a journey and got connected to a group of guys who I don’t have much personally in common with but who push me to grow spiritually.
We started monthly giving a few years ago, but it was an arbitrary number I was comfortable with and not a true tithe. In 2019, when we did the Blessed Life series, I read the book and our family made the decision to start tithing. I was excited about it and perfectly happy to give our 10% and more as a practice of giving back to God. Then Covid happened. We went into lockdown and actually sold our house with the plan to tithe on the profit. When I sat down to write the check, I had some hesitation because we felt a little disconnected after in-person services stopped. As I thought about it more, I realized it was kind of a test and I realized that I’m not actually giving to Crossroads, I’m giving to God and trusting Him to use the money in the right way. After that, I was happy to write the check.
For the past two years or so I have been thinking about baptism. I knew about different information sessions about baptisms and was encouraged by friends to go but always put it off. This summer, when Worship in the Bluegrass was happening, there was an opportunity for baptism every week and it just felt right. I talked to some mentors and thought more about it, and I decided to follow through. My kids, who are 9 and 6, saw what I was doing and wanted to be baptized with me, so we had a conversation with them and they understood what they were doing in their own way. It’s definitely a marker in their lives.
Really my story is just one of saying yes to the little things that kept building. I didn’t have a big “moment” when things changed for me and I don’t necessarily read my Bible everyday, but I read it a lot more than I did 10 years ago. I’m a better father and a better husband, and I have a real relationship with God. I feel like the teachings and messages I’ve been hearing are often related to being humble, and I can say that I have gotten better at putting my wife and my kids before myself as a result and God has given my family a gift that my wife never expected. -Chris T.