When I was a young boy, my parents were not particularly religious. You might think of them as having been ‘Christmas and Easter Christians’ because those were about the only events that were significant enough to move them to attend a service at the local Anglican church.
My aunt and uncle, however, were much stronger Christians. They had been attending a modern evangelical church for quite some time. In 1996, when I was about 10, they finally managed to persuade my parents to go with them to one of these services. Before long, my parents ‘saw the light’ and were successfully converted to this new faith.
We began attending regular Sunday services at a young evangelical church that met in a school hall just around the block from our house. At the age of about 12, I ‘gave my life to Jesus’ by reciting a short prayer, guided by my mother. On a few occasions, we hosted baptisms in our swimming pool and our back yard would be packed with happy people from our little church community. I enjoyed the vague sense of being involved with something of importance that events of this nature gave me.
As I grew up, though, I became less interested in church. Not being much of a socialite, the community aspects didn’t fulfil me. I had far more interesting things to do than use up a perfectly good Sunday morning worshipping a god that I had never really felt or listening to a preach that just rehashed the same ideas in slightly different ways each time.