One of the most common things that surprises other people about Glowing Heart is that not all of the members go to the same college, church, or are from the same area. We go to school at UTA, Tarrant County College, the College at Southwestern, UNT Dallas, Arlington Baptist College, Texas Woman’s University, North Central Texas County College, and Christ for the Nations Institute. Our individual church homes vary just as much, and some of our members are from so far as Floresville, Texas and Tuscola, Texas, and we live in Arlington, Grand Prairie, Mansfield, Denton, and Scurry. It astounds people how we are all somehow tied to Glowing Heart Ministries without having any other common ground except for our faith in Jesus Christ. But if GH were to have a “home church,” it would be without a doubt South Park Baptist Church in Grand Prairie, Texas.
Over the years, SPBC has been so good to Glowing Heart for letting us use their building for an after-school hangout spot and ministry opportunity (Coffee Stop), for letting us stay there for late night practices, and for allowing us to partner with their youth ministry on a weekly basis. A lot of us aren’t church members of SPBC, but it still feels like home. So when we get to do a DNOW at South Park, it’s a very different experience. We’re used to jumping into a group of students without knowing names, faces, pasts, current struggles, youth atmosphere, etc., and having to catch up and get connected with them as fast as possible. But with South Park, we know most of the students, we know how their week has been, we know their attitudes and sense of humor. We know these students far better than we ever get the chance to know students at the other DNOWs, which means we can get a lot more impactful ministry done.
At the SPBC DNOW, we saw some spiritual and emotional barriers come down, we saw the Holy Spirit soften hearts, and most beautifully, we saw one young man whom we have known for years come to faith in Christ. Glowing Heart used different DNOW material for this event, and I think it’s safe to say we didn’t all feel prepared to teach it. Bobby and I preached that weekend, and we also felt under-prepared for those sermons. But the Holy Spirit wasn’t unprepared, and He knew how to use those relationships that were prepared beforehand to bring glory to God. That weekend wasn’t based on material and sermons, it was based on relationships that we have with the students on a weekly basis, and continue to grow for the weeks, months, and years to come. It was less like a “One Big Hit ’em” weekend, and more like a big step forward in building those better relationships.
Christ walked with his disciples for three years, and he considered them his friends. He took time to build relationships, answer questions patiently, and teach them slowly. There’s a lot that can be done in a weekend, but there is so much more ministry to see happen on a day-to-day, “walking through life with them” ministry. It’s a blessing for both the leaders and the students. And Glowing Heart couldn’t be more proud than to call South Park Baptist Church our home.