By Bobby Wallace
I was a mess. On the outside, I seemed like I had it all together. But on the inside, I was wrecked. I grew up in church. Yet I didn’t become a Christian until I was heading to college—and only then, after years of procrastination, because I feared I would be a hypocrite. Deep down I knew I was running away from conviction.
When I got to college, I had every intention of living for Jesus. I attended Campus Christian Fellowship from day one and even lived in the campus house, but my resolve didn’t last long. My old habits and patterns came calling, and I was eager to answer. I played the role and fought the battle for the next year or so, wanting to follow Christ but choosing otherwise when faced with a choice. Sometimes I was the tempter, sometimes the tempted.
One night, my campus minister called some friends and me aside and sat us down. Quietly he displayed a brown paper bag and pulled from it a rugged, rusty spike and a beer bottle. He simply said, “You choose.”
From that moment on, I allowed the Spirit I had quenched to work in me. Over the next year of growth, I began to wrestle with a deeper issue. One night after many tears, I decided to leave college after three years and transfer to Bible college. Some called me crazy, but I finally gave up the fight. It was there at Bible college I met my wife. In nearly 16 years of marriage, we’ve had more adventures than we can count as God has hammered, chiseled, and led us into the stories of others, and led them into ours for his glory.
In all that time, and longer, I’ve felt the call to plant a church. I resisted that call, opting for what was comfortable. But I’ve learned that if we are listening, God won’t leave us comfortable. Little did I know God was working a plan to push me out of the boat and into church planting—and he did. No floaties!
It’s a long story, but I chose to listen to the words my campus minister said 20 years ago, “You choose.” With God’s help we will be planting a church outside Raleigh, North Carolina, in 2017. We are choosing a better story.
Bobby Wallace is the church planter in residence at Lifepointe Church in Raleigh, North Carolina. He will plant a new church in Knightdale, North Carolina, in 2017.