Further Ministry Education
My name is James Gamble from Tampa, Florida, USA, and I am receiving further ministry education at CLI. I grew up in a Christian household and became a believer at an early age. I was active in my church until I was in my early 20s. That is when I moved away from my home town (and parental influence) to a city about an hour away. During that time, I began to “fall away” from the church because I wasn’t active in a church community in my new city. I had doubts and reservations about my faith while I was on my own for the first time. However, I never stopped being a believer. I simply didn’t make it a priority in my life.
Reconnecting with Church Community
After some time, I moved to the town next to my hometown. Once again, I felt the desire to get involved with a church again. I did some research and found a church that I thought I could fit into. However, on that Sunday morning, I chickened out as I pulled into the parking lot. A few months later, I decided to try a different church, and it just felt right. I met the pastoral staff, and they were friendly and welcoming. I explained my situation, and they quickly took me under their wing. They helped me to connect to the rest of the community.
After my first few weeks, I was invited to a small group hosted by one of the pastors. It was a life-changing experience. For the first time in my life, I understood what being part of a Christian community meant. As a child and early adult, I attended a Pentecostal church that didn’t have small groups. I didn’t understand the concept until I experienced it. I began to hunger after the Word of God and wanted to do my best to be a Christ-like person.
Called to Lead and Further Ministry Education
Since then, I have felt called to lead a small group so that I can maybe help someone else. By furthering my education at the Christian Leaders Institute, I can achieve this goal and help lead someone to a closer relationship with Jesus. Thank you, CLI, for this opportunity.