I recently had lunch with a guy named Pat who has been involved in a YBL Jackson COM study for the last several months. Pat is from a military family and moved around growing up. His family was involved in church to some degree but not consistently. As a result Pat didn’t get a lot of depth of knowledge of the bible nor in how to walk in relationship with God.
Pat went to work for a local tech company named Bomgar a few years ago. He told me that in observing the owner and CEO Joel, he could tell that Joel was a Christian and seemed to be a good person and have a lot of peace in life. Pat was intrigued and impacted by that.
A couple of years ago, Bomgar began to sponsor the YBL Jackson spring and fall banquets which along with the recognition means they would get a table of eight tickets. We even asked Joel to speak at one of our banquets. Some of the Bomgar guys who came to that first banquet joined a COM study. The next time there was a banquet they invited Pat to come and encouraged him to join a COM study. Pat indicated on his response card at the event that he was interested in a study. We followed up with him and he joined the COM.
As we talked over lunch, Pat shared that he had tried to read the Bible before but had started in the Old Testament and hadn’t gotten very far. He said that the COM study had given him the freedom to ask questions and that a lot of things had gotten a lot clearer to him. Specifically he said that he felt like he could see more clearly what his purpose in life was and he better understood what it meant to have a relationship with God. He also mentioned that he is sharing things that he is learning with his wife and kids. Growing up in Pat’s family they didn’t talk about God and the Bible. Not that it was taboo, but it just wasn’t part of the conversation.
Pat is trying to make it different for his family through nightly prayers and sharing with them what he is learning. This story paints a perfect example of how one important aspect of our ministry works. People invite others to the banquets. The banquets are the catalyst to starting new COM studies and through the follow up a new group is formed. In this study, the men are taught the foundational truths that get them going in the right direction in their walk with God. Most of the time a family at home is affected as well. It is about changed lives and making disciples of Christ.