Obedience Brings Life

, ďI am wonderfully, marvelously fantastic. Thanks for asking.Ē That is how Pastor Vince Martin greets those who ask how he is doing. The light of Godís love that graces his face is testimony that this is the truth, Jesus lives in him.
Today Vince is the Program Director at Spokane Dream Centerís Menís Discipleship program, a place where men with broken hearts and shattered lives have an opportunity to find their God-given destiny and start over again. But that wasnít always the case.
Vince was born and raised in St. Maries, Idaho. After making some not-so-wise choices involving drugs and alcohol, that lasted from his teenage years into his mid-thirties, he lost it all. There were consequences to his actions that resulted in health issues and even some jail time. But that is not the end of the story, thatís where the real story begins.
When he was 35 years old, Vince recommitted his life to the Lord and asked Jesus to be his Lord and Savior. And Jesus embraced him as a new man in Christ and the road to restoration began.
In early 2000, Vince was living with his mom right across the street from Foundation Ministries (now Spokane Dream Center). Vince began attending this church and on his second visit, Pastor Alice asked him to be part of the drama. In fact, he played the part of a Pharisee, which he has continued to do for 15 years.
As I spoke with Vince, he told how the drama rehearsals helped teach him structure, how to be on time, follow directions, not to talk back and how to get along with others. Playing the part of a Pharisee and a conversation with his nephews drove home the point that he was never going to go out and defame the name of Jesus Christ again in the world because he didnít want anyone looking at him and saying, why are you killing Jesus over and over again in your lifestyle? This year, Vince will portray Pontius Pilate in Dream Centerís drama, Behold Jesus at the INB Theatre on April 4.
The drama was a key part of his growth as a new Christian but God had more in mind. God began rebuilding every area of his life. His children were brought back into his life to raise with godly principles. He got a job and over the years was blessed with promotions, a company vehicle, paid vacations, all blessings from the Lord.
Vince also found a place of leadership in the church. In 2007, he was ordained and became an Associate Pastor. He has the privilege of teaching the adult Sunday School class and ministering to people during important times of their lives Ė weddings, memorial services and even water baptisms. The ability to touch the lives of so many people, including family members, brings a smile to his face as he gives all glory and honor to God.
Then two and half years ago, God asked him to lay it all down, to trade his job with all its perks for a position in the ministry and become the Menís Discipleship Program Director.
God is so good. What better man to lead this program than someone who has walked in the darkness where so many of these men have lived, but now Vince knows what it means to walk in the light and be an example to others. ďThereís nowhere in the world Iíd rather be. Thereís no higher calling in life than to be a minister of the word of God. I know what God did in my life in giving my mom her son back. And then I get to talk to mothers and they get to have their sons back. God gets all the glory. God gets all the honor,Ē Vince said.

The Key to Service
As a pastor, Vince faces many challenges on a daily basis, what is the key to overcoming them? He was quick to tell me that his quiet time with the Lord early in the morning, every day, is the only thing that has sustained his heart. His favorite Bible verse is Psalm 27:4, ďOne thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.Ē (NIV)
His eyes light up when he speaks of his time with the Lord often before the sun rises. As the birds begin to sing, Godís morning symphony joins Vince in praising the Lord.
ďDonít take the time with the Lord, make the time for Him. It is a no option deal. Itís life or death.Ē Vince reminds us that our hope is in the Lord Jesus Christ but along with that we need to have accountability through a Christian friend/mentor with whom you can share your burdens, sins and struggles. Pastor Dave Darroch has been that friend/mentor for him. If you donít have a Christian friend/mentor, pray that the Lord would help you find someone.
Menís Discipleship Program Vinceís vision for the future of the Discipleship Program is that as the disciples walk together in unity, with confidence and boldness, this community will reap the benefits through healing, restoration, miracles and deliverance. May this city once again be a City of Refuge, a place chosen by the Lord.
Pastor Vince had these closing thoughts, ďObedience brings life. Being in the Word and letting the Word be in us, weíre open books for all the world to see.Ē God has called each of us to be salt and light to a hurting world.
All are invited to attend Behold Jesus, His life and ministry, at the INB Performing Arts Center on Saturday, April 4 at 1 pm and 6:30 pm. FREE admission, no tickets are required. For more information, go to spokanedreamcenter.org or call 509.924.2630.