October 20, 2014

God Working Through Podcasts

...at Riverside Church

Brian attended Riverside back when it was beside the river. He grew up here, attended a Christian school, and had great parents—a mom who planted many, many seeds. Still, after graduation, Brian fled Ft. Myers, never to step inside a church for over 25 years. He’d been hurt and wanted nothing to do with Christians. God wasn’t done with Brian, though. After years of “living the good life,” it took a medical crisis—a brush with death—for Brian to slow down long enough to reevaluate his life, his purpose, and his future. He knew God was there, somewhere in the background of it all, but he had no personal relationship with Jesus, wasn’t living out what he’d learned when he grew up, and had stopped growing in his faith. He had no one to share it with, and he began to feel a tugging at his heart for something more.

While recovering and caring for his dad back here in Ft. Meyers, Brian kept feeling like he should get back in church. He started listening to various podcasts and came across one of Bob Reed’s. It gripped him immediately, so he listened to several more. He felt really drawn to Bob, like he was speaking directly to him. It was almost disturbing, “as if the dude already knew me or something,” he recalls. He kept finding himself driving past Riverside, not even realizing it was the same church he grew up in.

When he could stand it no more, Brian decided he had to meet this Bob guy—see if he was for real. The first week, Eric preached. Brian loved it, the sermon, the people, the music...but where was Bob? He came back again, and Eric preached another fantastic sermon. Bob was recovering from surgery. Brian kept returning until at last he met Bob, and sure enough, he was the real deal. Bob introduced him to Ron Detwiler, and before he knew it, he found himself in a Life Group and Men’s Fraternity, surrounded by friends, sharing what God is doing in their lives, working out their faith, and doing life together.

Brian can’t believe he’s back in the same church he grew up in, and he can’t believe he loves hanging out with Christians. He’s staying in Ft. Meyers to care for his dad, and his life is being transformed. Praise God for using podcasts, Bob’s messages, to draw one of Riverside’s “kids” back to a thriving relationship with others in the body and with Christ.