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Celebrating 11 Years of Recovery Today!

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Yes. That’s right. I’ve been a Christian for over 25 years and a pastor for over 18, yet 11 years ago I gave it all up.

recoverFurthermore, seven years ago I was an active member of A.A.

How could this be? Have I been the biggest hypocrite in the world? How is it I became sober just 11 years ago and yet have pastored for 18?

Well, I became sober-minded.

On July 31st of 2005, Ray Comfort taught “Hell’s Best Kept Secret” at our church; after hearing it—and applying it to my life—I felt that I was born again, again.

A whole new world opened up to me; I actually became concerned for the lost. More importantly, after using the 10 Commandments in my Gospel presentations, the lost became concerned that they were lost, even thanking me for sharing Jesus with them. Amazing.

Also on that night in 2005, Ray gave me a free pack of million dollar Gospel tracts. (Read about that here.)

Gospel tracts? Those were so…so… 70s!

Since that first exposure to this wonderful tool, my former church, Hope Chapel, has handed out probably close to 4 million of them, and at Community Church of the Hills, the church I currently pastor in Johnson City, Texas, a few have caught the vision to how useful these tools can be!

I now celebrate 10 years of freedom from proclaiming a man-centered, “God-loves-you-and-has-a-wonderful-plan-for-your-life” Gospel.

Things will never be the same.

And what about that AA membership? That would be the Ambassadors’ Alliance, the now-defunct evangelistic training arm of The Way of the Master, where I had the great privilege to serve as a team leader with Ray Comfort for a few years.

Have you experienced “recovery?”

(Read about why I started sharing my faith everyday by clicking here for “My Great Evangelism Adventure”)

Want to learn how to share your faith with only one question and one question only? That’s right. You can share the entire Gospel, Law, Judgment, sin, Hell and salvation through Jesus, by simply asking only one question. Leave a comment if you’d like to know that question.

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23 Comments

  1. Pingback: Stay classy, Steve « Confessions of a Former Conservative

  2. January 2006 I picked up a copy of “Hell’s Best Kept Secret.” Upon beginning to read the book I turned on my radio one day and heard a funny man with an Australian accent (Ray Comfort) on Dr. D. James Kennedy’s program talking about using the Ten Commandments when you witness. God was definitely getting my attention, that I was reading the right book. Not even finishing the book I realized that this was in fact how you witness (lines up with what the Bible is teaching) and it was just as you said Pastor Steve like being born again, again! After that it was and has been an incredible journey and so awesome to know that when I get the privilege to witness to someone, no matter what way that may be (on the internet, over the phone, 1-2-1, etc,), I have a direction to go in presenting the gospel, Law to the proud, grace to the humble! All I can say is praise God!!!

  3. And tomorrow: two years of atheism! It’s been a fantastic two years so far. I’ve been making a lot of personal improvements and meeting all sorts of interesting people (like Steve!).

  4. “Gospel tracts? Those were so…so… 70′s! Since that first exposure to this wonderful tool, our church, Hope Chapel, has handed out nearly two million.”

    And two million people have thought that they were getting a good tip, only to realize that they’d been stiffed by an evangelical. Which IMHO is not a good introduction.

  5. @Steve there’s not a lot more to say that the first trackback comment did not say. I will only add that as someone who has proclaimed to be a drug user and whose drug use allowed them to “communicate with Satan” and ultimately convert you, you seem to be remarkably callous towards addicts.

    @Thomas Ray has a New Zealand accent as opposed to Ken Ham who has an Australian accent.

  6. So glad for what God has done for you in your life, and this NOT being “your best life now”…that is yet to come. Praising God with and for you, brother. 🙂

  7. Congratulations Steve

    AA? Atheists Anonymous? I don’t go over to their website too much anymore. If I wanted to hear a bunch of crying and complaining I’d become a preschool teacher.

    Atheists are very resilient. I have to give them credit for that. Years and years of arguing, being upset, getting angry at what other people are doing, trolling Christian websites, blogs and chat rooms and you would think that all of that negativity would burn them out. Nope.

    I’m still praying for the atheists that their eyes will be open and they will be saved. I’m praying for Ray Comfort, Hope Chapel and you too Steve.

  8. Thanks to your class: “Sharing Your Faith Made Easy”,I now celebrate 34 years of being free from proclaiming a man-centered, “God-loves-you-and-has-a-wonderful-plan-for-your-life” Gospel.

  9. Hey brother Steve,

    Congrats brother, as I too learned the Law is the only way to prick a conscience… and the Gospel is then really “Good News” to those whose names are in the Book of Life.

    What an honor to serve our King! It has been fabulous Steve to work beside you preaching on the 3rd St. Promenade and Pier, car shows, and the best times of my life- the Hermosa Beach Fiesta!

    Stay contagious Steve with Christ’s Light, and your sincerity of heart…

    Love of Christ,
    David Sterna

  10. Hey Steve!

    Eight years, eh? God is good. People all the time laugh and say things like “Gospel tracts are so … 70’s.”. But you know what? They still work, same as they always did.

    At our old Church in Colorado, there was a fellow, BIG fellow named Rob, we all called him “Big Rob.”. He was a biker, drug addict, hard-core alcoholic, very rough type. He used to hang out in bars and beat people up for fun. He shot heroin three times a day. He was in this bar, and in the bathroom, he looked down and saw a Gospel tract. He picked it up off the floor and read it and was saved. No kidding!

    He quit drinking and using that day. He found a Church and started praying. He never even had withdrawals! Today, he goes on these “Mission trips” by himself to the Southwest. He mets folks, stops and prays with them and shares Jesus’ love everywhere he goes. He’s just this big Teddy Bear today. 6’5″ and 260lbs, long hair, full beard. The outside hasn’t changed much except he probably smells a lot better, and he hugs you with these enormous bear hugs…

    Like I said, God is good. He is AWESOME. I pity those who scoff and doubt. I think that deep down they know the truth but they are afraid. Afraid to surrender to someone who will take away their “fun.” I have been saved now for 18 years, and I have been more places, seen more, climbed more mountains, paddled in more lakes and rivers, hiked more trails, swam in more oceans than I ever did as a unsaved person. In fact if I had to vote, I would say my life as an unbeliever was far more boring.

    I just never knew or understood before – what I was missing.

    God bless you Steve!

    • Hi Scott,

      You wrote: “I think that deep down they know the truth but they are afraid.

      Nope, and you still are unable to read the minds of others. Why not ask them instead of making guesses? Especially when those guesses go in the opposite direction from giving them the benefit of the doubt?

      From reading what you write (and not just here), as I’ve said to you before, you appear to tend to assume the worst in people who don’t think like you do.

      Afraid to surrender to someone who will take away their “fun.”

      Nope. As I’ve said before, doing this doesn’t even make sense when the “someone” you’re talking about is all-knowing and all-powerful.

      No, Scott, it’s the simple issue that your claims (1) don’t make sense to us and (2) they don’t appear to be supported by demonstrable, objective evidence.

      Also, there’s the issue of “if you’re wrong when you talk about stuff I know about, how can I trust you to be right about things I don’t know about?”

      You’re wrong about why people are non-believers, and you’re wrong when you try to describe evolution, and those are both things I understand. So how can I trust you to be right about something I can’t understand, especially when you’re not able to demonstrate the truth of your claims?

  11. I did the sinners prayer for eighteen years and NEVER liked it. But that’s what we’re taught (and sadlly are still teaching/proclaiming). I hated it. I knew it didn’t feel correct. But that’s what we Baptist do.
    I never realized what a terrible yoke it is until WOTM came along. I was stunned! You all know how we all felt after learning this evangelism Truth.

    I was in LA shortly after I read the books and watched the videos. I figured out where the ministry was and went there. I wanted to see if this guy was the real deal. He certainly was! Ray invited me to come back any time so I did a couple days later. Before I knew it he and Mark were loading stuff in my rental car and heading to a speaking engagement! I couldn’t believe it!
    We
    When we got there he handed me the money bag and said you’re in charge of the merchandise. Wow.
    That was in 2005 and my life has never been the same. Literally. Like Steve said, it’s like being born again, again. I recall Steve and I actually having that very conversation.
    Dripping Springs is waiting on you Steve!

  12. “Have I been the biggest hypocrite in the world?”

    You’re a Christian, so yes.

  13. Congratulations Steve. That is a wonderful milestone. While I have been fortunate in not struggling with alcoholism I did have a cocaine addiction as a young man so I understand the value in overcoming such a major life problem. Much respect to you.

    • Hey Ryk! The post was not about addiction….

      • Sorry I misunderstood. I was actually quite impressed. I might be confused but I thought you once mentioned overcoming a drinking problem if that wasn’t you I apologize. I know this post was about evangelism but I thought you were making a parallel with addiction recovery not using it as a metaphor.

      • No problem at all! As far as my drug recovery, that was almost 25 years ago. But I don’t even celebrate that. It’s a thing of the long ago past!

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