WARNER ROBINS -- Christ Chapel Warner Robins has a fundamental passion: helping people know God personally and intimately.
Andy King, the churchs senior pastor, said as people grow in knowing God, God is honored, lives are healed and ministry to others is born.
It saddens me to think of the people who dont know Jesus Christ the way they can, he said. One of the richest promises of the Bible is that Jesus said we can know him and have an intimate relationship with him just like he had with his heavenly father. Its amazing.
King said things that define Christ Chapel come from that ambition.
Were sometimes called a place where hurting people find healing, he said. My wife, Patti, and I have experienced Gods healing in our lives and been blessed to see it happen for others. Patti and I found healing and renewed purpose. I know what it feels like to stand on the outside because of mistakes Ive made. I also know what it is to have God and Gods people embrace me, accept me, love me and encourage me as God redeems and brings restoration.
King said the process can include facing hard truths along with Gods compassion, but he said even that is a matter of gracious application.
It matters how you tell people truth from Gods word and truth about his holiness, King said. Were quick to point people to all of Gods word and the fact he doesnt want to leave us in our dysfunction. But theres a big difference between someone coming with a rock in their hand and someone who knows their own brokenness coming with a healing hand. Its about a heart of humility.
King said he believes other strengths of the church include long-term unity, which he said is a byproduct of love, and team-ministry that is about having the right people in the right places doing the right things.
He also said a dependence on the filling, leading and working of the Holy Spirit is crucial to Christ Chapel.
As for his own journey, King said he was raised in a Christian home but strayed in his college years. He said that straying finally saw him jailed on a DUI charge.
I was never really taught how to know God, he said. Being thrown in jail was a real awakening, but I was befriended just as I was by a co-member of my college tennis team who was a Christian. He showed me that I, Andy King, could know God in a deep, personal way. That changed everything. Getting close to Jesus Christ caused a radical love that made me want to help others know him.
With a degree in business, King said he was enjoying a successful career. That changed at age 29.
Six years into my business plan God interrupted my plan, he said. I felt called to preach. John Wood, an evangelist, became my best friend and began mentoring me. I eventually left my work and became a tennis pro to support my family while I spent more time preaching.
King said Chuck Morris, pastor of Faith Assembly of God in Warner Robins, called and asked him to be the churchs youth pastor. He served there from 1993 to 1996, then attempted to plant a church in Gray, which was a painful failure. Wood asked King to join the staff of a church he had started: Christ Chapel Macon.
Another call from Morris led to Christ Chapel Macon starting Christ Chapel Warner Robins in 2007. Morris, who was retiring, contacted Wood and suggested a merger whereby Christ Chapel would take his facility and congregation. With reservations about leaving good friends in Macon, King returned to Warner Robins as pastor of Christ Chapels new Warner Robins campus.
A year ago, Christ Chapel Warner Robins came out from under the Macon church, becoming a sovereign, autonomous congregation.