Celyce and I had the privilege of attending Jeff and Peggy Tunnell’s 30th anniversary one week ago. While there, we talked with Mike Erickson, the associate pastor at Big Bear Christian Center. Mike told me what was happening in his network of cell groups, and my heart lept with joy for the many people getting saved and baptized. I asked him to write his testimony down to share with you on this blog. Here goes.
Mike Erickson writes:
April 9th of this year we were having our normal cell in the home of Keith and Patty White. This cell is a recovery cell, a cell in the truest sense yet the attraction is the group of people coming out of drugs and alcohol. This particular night there were seven in the cell and quickly we found out that five of the seven were not saved or didnâ€™t know for sure about their salvation. Keith said, â€œThe next week we are going to show The Passion of the Christ and everyone can get saved.â€ So the next week we did, with about 8 or 9 in attendance and about four or five were saved in a time of prayer after the movie.
One couple, Harry and Tracy, were saved that night. Harry had written his testimony for my book Recovery Cells: Small Groups for People in Recovery but at the time of the book’s release, Harry had relapsed and moved away from Big Bear. In March of this year, he told Tracy, “I am taking you to Big Bear, we are going to the cell group, find God, get baptized and get married.” They were saved at the viewing of the Passion, and baptized with two others, two weeks later. They entered marriage counseling and were married June 7th. About 75 people from the recovery community were at the wedding. . Harry and Tracy are now growing in Jesus and getting for our Encounter Weekend in August.
The week following the viewing of the Passion, we taught on water baptism and the week after that four were baptized. The excitement of that baptism has resulted in four more baptisms this year, including one scheduled for next week.
The follow-up of these people is so important. Right now we are helping most of them in the training track and have organized an Encounter Weekend in the home of Keith and Patty. The Encounter will be limited to 12 people, designed for an intimate encounter with God. After that the goal is to train some of them to be leaders and multiply new cells before the end of the year.
God is on the move!!
P.S.: Dr. Mike Erickson can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org