More than 700 people poured into the Grace auditorium on July 18 to hear Josh McDowell. That’s a bigger crowd than Saturday night worship. Just saying.
Rich Yauger, Executive Pastor for Adult Ministries, welcomed men and women of all ages and shared about the Men of Grace ministry who hosted the event. In true Grace style, we started with worship and praise. Many thanks to Bryan Copperthite, Worship Arts Director, and Mark Kang, Young Adults Director, for being lead worshippers. Dane Egli, a member of the Men of Grace Leadership team, kicked off the main event with an interview-style conversation and Josh got rolling. Rolling to such a degree that note-takers had hand cramps almost immediately. Glad we can read Josh’s books too.
Josh shared his story which included 7 years of sexual abuse from a family friend and even longer mental and emotional abuse from his alcoholic father. The life-changing power of Jesus was demonstrated in the fact that he had every reason to hate his father and his abuser but when Jesus became Lord of his life, Josh made peace with them including leading his father to Christ. Josh also shared how his wife and children have been his priority and how important it is for men to have other men to bear their burdens.
A question and answer session followed including where one woman expressed how she related to Josh’s experience because her grandfather sexually abused her. Josh came off stage and said, “You need a hug.” It was a genuine expression of love he offered before responding to her question.
Later, a 13-year-old boy shared how he grew up without a father. This time Dane Egli came off the stage to give a hug. Josh encouraged the young man to seek out Godly mentors because Grace and every church are full of men who’d love to love him like a son.
We thank the Lord for Josh. We thank the heavenly Father who sent his own Son to change eternity for us. We thank the Lord for Men of Grace and all the godly mentors of Grace Community Church.
Photo: Courtesy of John Lowe for GCC