For those who may not know my testimony, I grew up with a lot of religion and little to no Jesus. Because of this, my life before conversion was a pendulum, sometimes swinging towards religion (trying my best to be good enough for God), other times swinging away (when that didn’t work, because it never does, I disowned Christianity and lived like God wasn’t real).
After conversion, God brought three prominent people into my life. While I don’t know any of these people personally, they have all had a great impact on my walk with God, so I would love to share them with you.
I was introduced to Lecrae’s music through a Christian friend of mine (who actually ended up playing a role in my salvation). Though I wasn’t saved when I was first introduced to him, “Rebel” ended up being one of the first albums I got after my conversion. Hungry to learn anything I could about God, I listened to Lecrae’s music, taking in everything he was saying and searching the Bible for confirmation. When I first learned about reformed theology, I was hesitant to accept it as truth UNTIL I noticed Lecrae rapped about the very doctrines I was questioning. He is part of the reason I was open to learning about reformed theology. Which leads me to my second person…
- Matt Chandler:
While I’ve listened to many different teachers for a while that I love (like John Piper, Francis Chan, David Platt, etc), God has always used Matt Chandler (and by association, The Village Church) greatly in my life. Remember my struggle with reformed doctrine? The main reason I gave it a shot was because of Matt Chandler. Doctrine aside, his authenticity and commitment to truth made him my favorite pastor (if one can have such a thing) a while ago. For those looking for truly gospel-centered sermons, I would recommend listening to him and those at The Village Church.
- Jackie Hill-Perry:
Finally, there is Jackie. Before learning about her, I had millions of questions about what it means to be a gospel-centered woman. At my church, most women fit into the stereotype of the “Christian woman”. While that isn’t bad at all, it was a stereotype I didn’t fit into, so I always felt a bit out-of-place. I didn’t like chocolate, didn’t want to drink tea and “brunch”, and certainly didn’t want to sit and do my nails when I could be reading a book and learning about theology. Then I found out about Jackie. Here was a woman, bold in who God made her, preaching truth without violating God’s law about women teaching. Because of Jackie, I learned it was okay to be who God made me; a smart woman who loves to learn and loves to teach. She proved to me that femininity doesn’t necessarily mean “dresses and heels” and she cemented the idea that “authenticity is key”.
Those are my three. What about you? What three brothers and sisters in the faith have influenced you the most? Let me know in the comments.
Grace & Peace.