Hosting an anti-theist turned Christian who is now relentlessly serving the Lord is just one way that Christian Service Ministries helps the churches of Classis Chicago South.
Justin Obriecht shared his testimony with 300 people at Orland Park CRC.
On April 10, about 300 people packed Orland Park (Ill.) Christian Reformed Church to hear the testimony of Justin Obriecht. Until just one year ago, the 36-year-old, who owns and operates five local Culver’s restaurants, described himself as in opposition to belief in the existence of God. Since being born again, however, he and his wife have started Worthy of Work Ministries, employing people from Chicago who are homeless to do a variety of jobs. Those employed must attend church each week through their Wash and Worship program, which helps people who are homeless with their laundry.
That example of service and selflessness led Jan Visser, director of Christian Service Ministries, to invite Obriecht to speak.
“When I heard Justin’s testimony, I thought it tied directly into our work because of his passion for the Lord but also his passion to serve others,” Visser said. “It was inspiring, equipping, and provided fresh ideas. He was looking at people around him with new eyes. We also want to be people who see with the eyes and hear with the ears of Jesus so we can serve in the community.”
Since 2001, Christian Service Ministries, a ministry of Classis Chicago South, has been providing training, resources, and networking, primarily for deacons and those involved in outreach and care-giving ministries. Each year the ministry coordinates four to six events, often held at different churches within the classis, that speak to and aid the work of the churches.
“The nice part about the work Jan does is it’s done in a very safe environment,” said Jan Kamp, who helped coordinate the event at Orland Park CRC. “It’s easy to bring a visitor to an event like we had tonight, and the fact that the events aren’t always at the same location helps too.”
The events that Christian Service Ministries offers range from round-table discussions to service projects to hosting speakers like Obriecht. Proceeds from the Olbriecht event went to supporting Visser’s part-time salary and future events.