The following is a guest blog post I was asked to do for my college I graduated from 15 years ago. Here’s the post as it appears on their blog…
This week, Charleston Southern University begins a new series called Your Story | His Glory. The series will include the personal testimonies of students, faculty, staff and alumni. We begin the series with Greg Atkinson, a 1997 Charleston Southern University graduate, who now serves as a Campus Pastor for Forest Park Church in Joplin, MO.
Life verse: I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of His power. – Ephesians 3:7
Personal Mission Statement: Love God. Love people. (Based on The Great Commandment – Matthew 22:36-40).
My name is Greg Atkinson and I attended CSU from 1993-1997. I went on staff at my first church at the age of 18 in 1994, as a freshman at Charleston Southern University. For the past 18 years, whether serving a local church, speaking at conferences, writing for various blogs or magazines or consulting with churches around the country, I’ve given my life to the gospel. I still haven’t gotten over the good news of the gospel. It has changed me, is changing me and continues to drive me.
My life verse is Ephesians 3:7, which reads, “I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of His power.” That sums my life, purpose, calling and mission up pretty simply. I am a servant of the gospel. The gospel has changed my life and I see it as a privilege and honor to pastor a local church and share this good news regularly. I believe the local church is the hope of the world and I will spend my life investing in the lives of others.
My personal mission statement is simple. It is “Love God. Love people.” I preached on The Great Commandment out of Matthew 22 and the phrase “Love God. Love people.” that I kept saying over and over just seemed to stick. We have car window decals, bracelets and banners around our city that say just that. This is what we teach our people and how we want to make a difference in our community.
I’m thankful for the foundational education that I received at CSU and am especially thankful that God called me to serve in a church while in school. I think I got a double-dose of education and I still have a thirst and hunger to grow, learn, read, be stretched and challenged. I read at least a book a week (yes at least 52 books a year) and am constantly searching for ways to practice and apply what I learn.
My true passion is my family. I seek to be the best husband and father I can be. Chrissy and I have 3 precious kids. My main mission in life is to raise them to love and serve God. I take the discipling of my children very seriously. I’m trying to instill in them a strong and lasting faith and model for them what it means to be a man of God.
At the end of my life I, like many of you, simply want to hear my Savior say “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” That’s my heart’s desire. I recently heard a pastor at a conference say that “God has not called us to a spectacular ministry. He’s called to a sincere and faithful heart.” That resonated deeply with me and is something I will never forget. Don’t worry about how big your ministry is or how many people know your name. None of that matters. What matters is that we have a sincere and faithful heart and that we share the good news of the gospel faithfully. May you know the truth of the gospel, live in its freedom and love God and people. And at the end of a life well-lived, with a sincere and faithful heart, may God look you in the eye and say “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
To God be the glory.