Before coming to Experience Church.tv I was the stereotypical computer nerd. My day revolved around getting up, going to work, and then coming home to play video games, and finding connection with people wherever I could. And video games was my hobby but it was a hobby I let run me; my life would focus around how much energy and time I put into those games, I even closed out personal connections to make that the priority point of my life. It felt like a race to become connected and video games was my outreach; I couldn’t find a job where I felt fulfilled, couldn’t find community at school so video games ended up being my way to connect with people.
I had a friend who was working on me, I didn’t know Jesus at the time, and through mutual friends, I met my, now, wife, who was and is a very Godly woman. I took her out on our first date and eventually I asked her where she saw this going, her exact words were, “No where, because you don’t know Jesus.” It shocked me, but I had already been thinking about pursuing a relationship with Jesus, and she said, “Well it’s not a decision I can make for you, because then it’s not a decision at all.” So we started a Bible study and I went to my friend’s church and it was the stereotypical church depicted in movies. I felt like I was going with my 50-year-old grandma, there was a worship song, there was a message, it was very dry and boring. Then I started watching Experience Church.tv on their online services, just to see what it was like, and eventually watching virtually, grew into physically attending. The atmosphere was completely different from any other church I had ever gone to, or seen. The biggest part for me was the family bonds that came with this church; one of the biggest issues I’ve always viewed with communities is the isolation, there’s always specific groups of people that want to be in their own little tight-knit group. I’ve always felt that church needs to be everyone, you need diversity, whether its difference in opinion, or difference in cultures, you need that diversity to be successful and this church reflects that.
Since being at Experience Church.tv, my life has changed priority-wise. God is now a priority, so it’s more important for me to be connected to that, God has blessed me with a wife, has blessed me with a son, friends, and people that I can rely on, mentors and leaders to look up to, and provided me with a truth that I didn’t have. Experience Church.tv has this home factor about it and the defining moment of “home”, for me, was when I went through Growth Track. Going through Growth Track, they tell you what the church is about, what it stands for, what to expect, and you don’t ever feel like you’re walking through “check-marks”, church here is never a box on your to-do list. You walk in here and everyone is doing their best to greet you and make you feel welcome, they pick up on social cues, so if you’re not a person who likes hugging they’re not going to run you down everytime, and they make you feel invited. So if you want to come to church feeling comfortable around people, and be able to say what you feel is true and have genuine conversations, rather than being told what you’re doing is wrong on a constant basis, this is that space for you. This place fulfilled me and brought me a family, with connections and opportunity, and it’s made God the focus of my life.