Movie Take Away – I Can Only Imagine

We went and saw the movie “I Can Only Imagine” Sunday night. The movie really is an amazing testimony of God’s love, grace, and forgiveness. I know everyone has not seen the movie yet, but I wanted to mention a few things that I took away from the experience that relate directly to the ministry here at First Baptist Church. First, I was reminded of the reason that we do youth and children ministry. This young man had an abusive dad, a mom that abandoned him, but thankfully a youth pastor that loved him. It was actually sermon notes he had written as a child that God used to turn his life around at this key moment. Never underestimate the influence of the youth and children’s ministry in the lives of these students. Every Bible lesson, every word, every hug, every smile, and every bite of food may be what God uses to change a boy, girl, or an entire family. Secondly, I was reminded of the extreme importance of youth and children’s camp. For many children these weeks are just a fun week away from home, but for some these weeks are absolutely life changing. For some young people the week at camp with our church provides them more love, attention, and Christ focus than they will get any other time in their lives. Like young Bart, some kids would do anything to escape their life and just stay at camp forever! I have actually heard students tell me this before. It was this camp experience that grounded Bart in church where he was introduced to Christian music, God’s Word, and even found his future wife! We strive to offer these students a life changing camp experience at places like Heart of Texas and Falls Creek. These are expensive projects that take a massive amount of prayer, hard work, and commitment from our church, but they are worth it all just to see one life changed by Christ. I will end by asking a question. How would this story have been different without the local church in Bart’s community? He would not have gone to camp to hear the Word of God for the first time. He would not have taken those notes in the journal from that Bible lesson. He would not have met a children’s minister that showed him the love of Christ. He would not have met his future wife! He would not have had a youth group to go to in High School. He would not have been invited to sing at church by his pastor. His dad would never have heard him sing Amazing Grace on the radio. His dad would not have been saved. He could never have written this amazing song about what his father is seeing in heaven! Millions of people would have never been ministered to by the amazing song written from these experiences. While none of these people are named in the movie, I am sure Bart Millard knows them all by name. Take time today to consider how Bart’s story would have been told without the local church and without the many Christian people in Bart’s life! I don’t even want to imagine!

Daniel Harper