I was born and raised in a very special Anglican Church, and I’m proud of my roots. It was there I learned the acts of service and devotion to Jesus. It was there my love for music set its foundation. It was there I knew that our call as Christians is to reach out to others with the love of the Father, selflessly. It was there the importance of evangelism was etched in my heart. And most of all, it was there I learned never to replace Jesus with any man, no matter how anointed and called he or she might be. This made it quite difficult for me to attend any church were there was one man at the helm of affairs and everyone sort of rallied around him like insects around a light bulb. It’s still hard. So when I joined Boo of life in our current location, I was itchy all over just knowing I would be venturing way outside my comfort zone.
But from the moment I saw the man, the connection was real. First, he reminded me so much of my dad. Maybe it was those steel rimmed glasses he wore. Or his gentle and subtle ways. Or the manner with which his matter-of-factness is absolute, there is no substitute. The man just glows with Jesus, and I saw it from afar.
It’s been 4 years since I joined Fountain of Love, and I know there is no perfect church, especially since we’re all in this walk of faith together, and we all stumble, and we all have faults, and really no one is perfect . . . but there are some perfect dots that connect about FOL, and Pastor Chris certainly is one of them.
Can you tell me how many preachers out there will admit to their congregation that though the name of the Church has ‘love’ in it, they still have a long way to go with working on the love that’s within it? Such brutal honesty!
Now tell me, how many men of influence actually spend the time to tell you about all the times they messed up and open up their past to you like a book, just to make you know that they’re not perfect, but a product of continual and consistent grace? Such exemplary living.
Now how many men of influence don’t surround themselves with so much bureaucracy that it’s easy to have a human earthly contact with them? Such humility.
Do you see where I’m going with this?
He’ll never make you feel like he’s up there and you’re down there. He’ll never present perfection to you as something you might never attain. He preaches humility by living it out, and is loyal to nothing but the truth.
It’s easy to talk and write about a perfect person, but more important are those whose lives have been poured out in such a way that others can learn a thing or two; whose mistakes are shared so others don’t have to make the same ones too; whose strengths are used to serve the weak, and whose hearts are driven by compassion. These are the reasons this man shines and I’m proud to associate myself with him.
So today, on his 60th birthday, I’m honoured to feature him on Alethea’s Mind. To tell the world that there are still men of great influence out there, people we can look up to, not as superheroes, but as men who strive every day to be better, so their lives can make a difference.
Join me to wish Pastor Chris Gbenle a wonderful 60th birthday.
Your light will continue to shine!