It is doubtful that many children — or adults for that matter — got dominos for Christmas this year. If any did, it's likely they have already lost a few of them before New Years.
Maybe we'd all be better off if we bought some dominos just to stand them up, line them up, and give the gentlest touch to watch them all fall over. Or perhaps there is even a more worthwhile and rewarding "domino effect." Here's a story to illustrate that point.
Our lives before we became Christians were lives that centered on drugs and alcohol. We looked forward only to the weekend so that we could fill it with a bottle of liquor and a bag of drugs.
We had no hope or purpose in our lives. We were angry, lonely, and fed up with just about everything. The booze and drugs helped to drown out all these feelings, or so we thought. Life had no meaning to us. I say us, because my wife shared a lot of these feelings as well. We were both in search of meaning, comfort, peace, and joy. But we were looking in all the wrong places, and one of those places was a bottle.
All of this started to change when our daughter entered the pre-K program at North Oak Baptist Church. She was the catalyst for our salvation. We believe if Ashley had not been enrolled in school at North Oak we would still be in the same mess we were in four years ago.
Everyday when Ashley came home she was either singing a hymn or quoting a Bible verse. My wife and I jokingly called her our "Bible-quoting, hymn-singing baby." Little did we know that she was witnessing to us!
About eight months after Ashley started school there, my wife was contemplating some troublesome thoughts so she went to the sanctuary at North Oak to pray and find some peace. She says God told her, "You know where to find the comfort you seek." And that's when she met Christine. Christine had just started FAITH training, but she was willing to try and use what little she had already learned to witness to my wife...and my wife was saved. My wife immediately told me about her experience with the Lord and the burden that she felt had been lifted. She then suggested that we all attend the Sunday service and see what a wonderful place this church was.
So we came to the Sunday service, and for the first time in my life I understood the message that was delivered that day. I filled out the visitor's card and went home. The following Tuesday there was a knock on the door, and when I answered it there stood three people I had never seen before — Christine, Elton, and Amy. They proved to be the FAITH team who led me to salvation that evening.
My wife and I were scheduled to be baptized so we invited her mother and father, along with some friends, to celebrate this happy occasion with us. Her parents were very deeply moved by the experience at North Oak and they were very pleased with the change that occurred in our lives. And then like a "domino effect" it spread through the family. Within two weeks the FAITH team visited their home — and they were saved. Two weeks after that, our son Johnny was saved in children's church. Then, that summer at VBS, our daughter, Ashley, was saved. God worked mightily through one small child, a church, and a person willing to try to bring an entire family to know the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
What started out to be a head start for our daughter's education ended up transforming the lives of six people (and only God knows how many more!). We have faith in Jesus — we can't see Him or reach out and touch Him, but we can see the mighty work He did in our family and our lives. A family once torn apart is now whole. A family, once bitter, sad, hateful, and without purpose, is now joyful, renewed, and full of love.
You'll be further blessed to know the father telling this thrilling story is now, of all things, the FAITH director of his church. What an effect!
Remember, humanly speaking, this "Domino Effect" all began when one sweet, young lady who was only partially trained, but fully willing to try, gave a Holy Spirit-led touch on one life.
In this New Year, would you resolve to make a gentle Holy Spirit-led touch on someone with the gospel? This year FAITH will intentionally be a part of the "Domino Effect" in millions of ways all around the world. You could be the one to start that effect in your home, at work, and with your friends in this New Year. Now that's a great resolution!
Bobby Welch is pastor of First Baptist Church, Daytona Beach, Fla., and originator of the FAITH evangelism strategy.