Here’s a conversation with Pastor Manohar & Sneha from Gurgaon and with an old friend Eric.
Pastor Priji: You guys are pastoring in the New Life Church, Gurgaon, in the evening service. Talk about your passion for ministry, how you got saved, where did it all start ?
Pastor Manohar: It all started when I was working here in Gurgaon itself, in a call center. During that time is when was the first time for me coming out of my parents place and coming to the big city such as Gurgaon.
It had given me more options of getting into worldly stuff, not only was I into sin and whatever the world was offering me but I was also into a lot of mess, drugs, bad relationship.
During that time, a hindu friend of mine, she took me to the church a Sunday and I felt that the church music is good. So, I would return only for the music and ended up staying in church for a few months,for the worship every Sunday and then get back home. So one Sunday I decided I’ll stay back and check out the whole service and see how it goes.
This is funny because I’m a Pastor’s kid but always felt trapped because of it, like a bird stuck in a cage. I was always stuck going for morning prayer, evening prayer, night prayer, so for me coming out of that was so much fun.
So that Sunday, I stuck it out and felt like God still loves me the way I am. During the worship that night, I sensed God’s voice clearly telling me that no matter what I am going through in my life, He is still there for me and that I don’t have to do anything, I just have to be still in His presence.
That very sentence, moved me. I grew up with a lot of rejection during childhood, so when I got that acceptance I almost felt like there was this gap in my heart which was being filled by the love of Christ. That very day, I gave my life to Jesus.
When I went back to my work at the call center, God stirred up my heart saying ‘ look at all the people that work here, you used to be a part of them but not anymore, they don’t know Christ’s love, so why don’t you be the light here and share the Gospel to them ? ‘
So I went through a season of prayer with my parents, and I heard God’s calling for me into full time ministry. Ever since, I have a passion for young people, people working in call centers and corporate life. Hence today me and Sneha have our entire focus towards the young people in the city of Gurgaon.
Pastor Priji: What about you Sneha, when did you catch this passion for ministry ? Was it after marriage or before marriage ?
Sneha: I got saved when I was in Delhi, and I had come from my hometown. I was looking for a job and was doing my internship here. Then I met a bunch of people in IIT, then I started going to Bible study along with them and that’s how I came to know the Lord. From then, I decided that I’ll marry a person who is into ministry.
So, for me ministry would be like, I would be helping him out with the finances and everything I had. After praying for 40 days with fasting and prayer, God showed me Manohar’s face and that’s how we finally met. It was arranged by God and God wanted us to be together so that we could together be used for His ministry.
Pastor Priji: So you had seen his face even before you had met him ?
Sneha: I had met him through a common friend. But then he was looking for a guy for me, but I didn’t want to get married. So I told Lord ‘ if you want me to get married then you have to show me the face of the guy. ‘
So we were just friends and he was helping me out with some of the stuff so, one day I was praying in the church at the end of my fasting and that Sunday God showed me Manohar’s face and told me why it was Manohar, due to his ministry and character. So that was my confirmation from Lord, to move forward with him.
Pastor Priji: Teach me some lesson that you’ve learned from your marriage the last 3 years ? Is there something you want to share to the couples out there, listening ? Something that could help them.
Sneha: The very first thing in a marriage we should look for is that Christ should be the center of the relationship and without Christ, the marriage can’t be beautiful. If there’s something we learned is that, we need to be patient with each other. Even though we have so many faults and weaknesses as individuals, but when we bring Christ in our midst, all our weaknesses turn into strength there.
If God has brought two people together, make sure that the third chord is Him, because that’s the most important chord.
Pastor Priji: Eric, what about you ? How has life been here in Gurgaon ? How has it been relating to the young people here ? You’ve been in the church worship ministry, youth ministry, how has it been ? What are the things you’d like to share for the people already in youth ministry or going to it ?
Eric: I’d like to say that, the church that you’re involved with, you would not realize how much of an effect it has on your ministry. Last year, apart from the church ministry, we ended up going on a mission trip with some of my college fellowship friends and I realized that so many of the songs we were singing and the things that I was sharing, it all came from the church that had been feeding, what I’d been seeing from the example of other believers who I had been fellowshipping with.
So, that had a profound effect on the outcome of what my faith was like. My previous job I was in a totally rural place, so fellowship was very less there, but here it has been great to just get plugged in to a church and have fellowship to grow in the Lord with people who call on the Lord.
Pastor Priji: Pastor Manohar, what are the challenges you guys have faced in reaching out to unbelievers here and what is your motivation or inspiration when you go to meet them ? Doesn’t it occur to you that some of them might reject you or make fun of you or might not be very appreciative of what you’re doing, how do you overcome these challenges ?
Pastor Manohar: In the last few years we’ve already seen such things, whenever we went out for the
street ministry with our group, people would come ahead and threaten us that we can’t talk about Jesus there or people would beat us up. So all that stuff is still happening, but end of the day all we need to know is that, when Jesus was born only few people were there to witness it, but when His death happened, it was on top of the mountain and witnessed by everybody. That way the church has to reflect on Christ, where we no longer have to stay inside but have to come out to the city. Church has to rise up to such a level where the entire city can look at.
Church should not settle down within four walls but should come out, then only we can claim every street, claim every city and take Jesus everywhere. There are a lot of challenges, political issues also coming up, but end of the day whenever we ask anyone who doesn’t know Christ, if they lack anything, they may say they aren’t lacking, but if Jesus isn’t there in their lives then there is a missing element in their life. So by striking a conversation with people and coming to know of their needs, what we can do is offer them a prayer. It’s not about us, it’s about Jesus.
God has chosen us to reflect who He is. Today if we are a bunch of believers, it’s not our goodness but it is Jesus whom people have to see through us and this can happen only if we go outside and not staying within the church.
So don’t be people that concern with brining people to church, but rather bring the church out to people.
Hope the podcast blesses your heart. Enjoy the weekend ahead.
This podcast is a repost, originally published on January 16, 2016.
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