Ministry Team 2019: A Place You Can Call Home
by Nali Gray, New Covenant Community OPC, Joliet, IL (August 2019)
Nali was a member of the Ministry Team that served during "Week Four" at the Boardwalk Chapel in Wildwood, NJ, in July 2019. The team was organized by Covenant OPC (Orland Park, IL) and had 24 members from California, Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin.
The Boardwalk Chapel is a place of worship, fellowship, and family. It is a place for brothers and sisters in Christ to unite and spread the gospel using their own personal gifts, while also developing areas we are weak in. While we all were given the opportunity to street witness, there were other opportunities to evangelize, whether it was by storytelling and face painting or the infamous "Heaven or Hell" machine.
One of my biggest takeaways from this trip was our training. We had about three hours of training every day, and the staff really pushed us out of our comfort zones. We learned about different kinds of questions to ask while evangelizing, and we also practiced giving a gospel presentation in under three minutes. On Thursday, Pastor Zozzaro treated us to his apologetics training, and everyone really appreciated how applicable it was.
Another takeaway was the evangelism. The conversations I had while in New Jersey are unforgettable. While I was helping work the Midnight Dinner on Wednesday, it started down-pouring, and a family stopped in. I was able to have a conversation with the wife, and as she began to tell me about her family’s story, my heart leaped for joy and I praised God for giving me this opportunity to speak with her. She told me about her family’s experiences with church-jumping and seeking out pastors who would answer their difficult questions. She said they were growing so much from Scripture that they wanted to find a church that taught them the truth. My family, having joined the OPC only two years ago, went through the same exact thing, so being able to encourage her through this hard time in her life was a blessing from the Lord! His sovereignty again encouraged me later that week as I had several opportunities to put into practice the exact training techniques we learned in our training. I approached two women on a bench outside the Chapel while handing out tracts, and they were blown away by our ministry. They thought it incredible that I, a 15-year-old girl, was actually talking to them and participating in this ministry, which lead to a really great gospel conversation. Praise God!
Finally, I deeply appreciate the friendships that were created or strengthened. Spending a week completely devoted to evangelism with my friends and the staff was an experience I will cherish forever. I was reminded of the passage Matthew 12:45-50, “While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him. But he replied to the man who told him, 'Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?' And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, 'Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.'" The Boardwalk Chapel reminded me that my fellow believers are my family, and the joy I gained from that one week was only a mere reminder of how much more joyful and glorious Heaven will be. The Boardwalk Chapel is a place you can call home.