Bobby Gilpin – UK Partnerships for Christ
HOW I BECAME A CHRISTIAN
I have been a Christian since October 1999. I had no religious background however was interested in the prospect of going to an event called the “Alpha Course” which explained what Christianity was really all about. As this course went on I became more and more aware of the reality of Gods existence, and also His active love and participation in the lives of His people.
So I became a Christian and was more or less instantly very active in witnessing to people at the college I was at. As a result of this, a religious studies class at the college used to have discussions about me, referring to me as the “Scary Cult Boy”. In my second year of college I decided to take religious studies and I joined this class. I soon met a guy called Jamie who was a Mormon. At first I had no idea what this meant but due to an assignment I did in this class, I became aware in some depth of the differences between my Christian faith and the religious beliefs of the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses.
HOW GOD CALLED ME INTO MINISTRY
Being such a new Christian when challenged by some Jehovah’s Witnesses at my door, I really wondered if they could be right. For the first time, I looked in greater depth at the Bible and what it said about Jesus and Salvation and realized that the biblical message is clear. Salvation is found in none other than Christ and His work as God in my life, with nothing that I could ever do that could contribute to this.
So in addition to realizing that I shouldn’t join the Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses, I realized that because of their reliance upon themselves and their church for salvation, they are still lost people who are just caught up in religion. The more I studied their beliefs and learned more about my own, the more I wanted to reach them. When I did a full time church year out in Manchester, I came across Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses frequently, and by the end of this year, I knew that this was Gods calling on my life.
Since then, I have talked with members of these groups countless times and have been to Utah on mission trips with the third trip scheduled for the summer of 2012 where I will be funded to go as an instructor for a group from California. I have established a ministry called “UK Partnerships for Christ,” where we work together with the Utah Partnerships for Christ, a Christian ministry to Mormons that is located in Utah.
While I love doing the ministry God has called me to do, my greatest love is God Himself. My daily walk involves getting into His Word as often as possible and sharing every aspect of my life with Him. Sharing what happens on a daily basis is difficult as every day is different. However, despite being married with a child, working full time for the police and having various other responsibilities, I always try and prioritise time with God and in His Word. Although I may fail at times, I feel I am keeping up with this pretty well.
We are a part of Middlesbrough Community Church that is a part of the Salt and Light Movement and we have been there for just over 2 years. Throughout this time, we have been involved with leading a small group and I am currently involved with leading worship regularly on a Sunday Morning and at other meetings during the week.
WHAT I BELIEVE MAKES A PERSON A CHRISTIAN:
A Christian is someone who has realized that their own sin has separated them from God. They have realized that there is nothing they can do in their own efforts or intentions to deal with this separation that has occurred between them and God. They have trusted fully in Christ and what He did on the cross, and that He rose again and as a result of this are a new creation in Him and justified in the sight of God.
If this has occurred then this believer will bear fruit as a result of the work of God in them, this believer will be humbly aware that they have nothing to boast of other than the work of Christ in them.
An ex Mormon or Jehovah’s Witness needs to do the same as any other non-Christian, that is go through this same process of admitting their sin and coming to Christ. They may have more extensive discipleship needs than others as a result of the wrong teachings likely still in their worldview. This would need to be overcome by humbly submitting to the Word of God and joining a good church that feeds them and helps them grow.
My prayer life is a daily thing, sometimes just at various points in the day and sometimes a specific set prayer time. I am always conscious that God is with me and that my daily activities whether big or small, spiritual or practical happen in order that He may be glorified.
I am very active in my ministry in reaching out to cult members. However I always try and keep the perspective that my relationship with God is so much more significant than my ministry in itself and that it only really works if I am looking to Him to empower me.