A sinner saved by grace!
I had a fairly normal Canadian upbringing. I was raised in a middleclass family, the son
of an autoworker, and I dreamed of playing in the NHL. During my childhood I actively
pursued my dream, playing hockey at a competitive level for 10 years.

When I was seventeen I came the realisation that I wasn’t going to make the NHL and I
turned my sights towards getting an education and partying, with the emphasis on
partying. For the next decade or so, the decade of the 1980’s, I became a committed
partier. I smoked dope regularly and had what the Bible calls drinking parties with my
friends three or four times a week, where in my heyday it was not uncommon for me to
party until the sun came up. For that period of time in my life partying was pretty much
what I lived for. It encompassed my philosophy of life – enjoy life! And I was pretty
successful at it. Unfortunately I was successful at little else. In the midst of my partying I
never made it to university or college, and I never did much in the work force either,
mainly moving from low end job to low end job and squandering any good
opportunities that did happen to come my way.

The Bible says that sin is pleasurable for a time but that the wages of sin is death
Hebrews 11:34-34; Romans 6:23). In my decade of partying I was able to fully
experience both side of that truth. The first few years that I partied were some of the
best, most fun-filled times of my life. I had little in the way of responsibility and I had
little to care about except having fun . . . and I had plenty of good times. By the time I
got to the last few years however, when I was in my mid-twenties, things were a lot
different. I was alcoholic, I was suffering from a
mental illness where I needed to
hospitalised on occasion, at different times I was homeless, and I found myself in jail a
few times for assault and probation violations. These were the bad times when
partying wasn’t fun anymore.

It was at this point in my life that I decided to fully commit my life to Jesus Christ.

My conversion

As a child growing up I had always believed in God. Even from my earliest memories
as a little boy I can remember believing in God, specifically the God of the Bible.
However except for a few years when I was very young I never went to church
regularly, and the church we did go to wasn’t a real Bible believing church, so I never
really got to learn very much about God. In my mind God existed to help people when
we needed Him, and when people died, He let good people into heaven, people who
basically were law abiding citizens, and sent bad people to hell, people who were
criminals such as thieves and murderers.

Consequently, because I believed in God and believed that He existed to help people
when we needed Him, when I was starting to go through my difficulties while I was
partying, I cried out to God to help me. In my seeking of God I felt, in what I can only
call a spiritual feeling, Him point me towards His Son Jesus Christ. Up until that time in
my life I knew very little about Jesus other than that He was the Son of God who died
for us and rose from the dead. Eventually though I learned more about Jesus including
that He is the way to God and that I needed to believe in Him if I wanted God to help
me (
John 14:6). So I believe in Jesus during this time, but I did it with the attitude that I
wanted God to help me do things my way, not that I was willing to do things His way,
which biblically is what God wants – life with God is about Him and His way, not us and
our way (
Matthew 16:24).

During this time I like to say that God gave me the rope to do what I wanted and I hung
myself with it. After I believed in Jesus, I saw God take care of me and see me through
the worst of the times I went through, but I also saw Him let me go through those bad
times as a consequence for my actions.

Finally in 1989 when I was in prison for the last time my father came to visit me and he
told me about a fourteen month rehabilitation for alcoholics and drug addicts called
Teen Challenge, which actually is a Christian discipleship program for alcoholics and
drug addicts that teaches them how to follow Jesus. Later that evening when I was
alone in my cell I prayed to God about entering the program and I felt that it was His
will for my life. That very night, literally at the lowest point in my life while I was sitting
my bed on the floor of that prison cell, I made the decision not only to enter that
program but from that time on to always do things God’s way, not my own way. And
since that time I have to say that I have never looked back. In the same way I saw my
life spiral downhill over time as a partier I have seen my life spiral uphill over time as a

My new life

I entered the Teen Challenge program in December 1989 and I immediately was
baptised in the Holy Spirit as well as water baptised, expressing my commitment to
Christ and symbolic of the truth that I was now a new person in Christ. The old Wayne
was buried in the water (
Romans 6:4) and the new Wayne was resurrected from the
water according to 2 Corinthians 5:17 “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old
things have passed away, behold all things have become new”.

Over the course of the fourteen month program I was taught how to follow Jesus. I also
had the opportunity to serve the Lord in evangelism with a ministry team called the
Teen Challenge Choir, which ministered the good news of Jesus in churches, schools,
prisons, and on the streets. During a tour to the east coast of Canada near the end of
my time in the program I made the decision that what I wanted to do with my life was
serve the Lord in full time ministry, specifically in the ministry of the Great Commission,
proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom of God and making disciples of those who
believe (
Matthew 28:19-20). The excitement of being involved in front lines evangelism
captured for me the excitement I had as a competitive hockey player in my youth, as
well as the excitement I had as a partier. It is a life full of relationships and adventure,
plus it is a life that is full of meaning, a life of service to the Lord that is dedicated to
helping people. Basically I was hooked and I have been hooked ever since. Of course
more than just a career choice, serving God in full-time ministry is also a call from God
on a person’s life, which I also deeply sensed.

After graduating the program the door opened for me to stay at Teen Challenge as an
intern and later as a full-time staff member. For me this was an awesome opportunity
because Teen Challenge is an international ministry that reaches out to addicts,
alcoholics, prostitutes, the homeless and prisoners all over the world and to work in
that ministry is the work of a missionary, which was exactly the work I wanted to be
involved in.

Over the course of the next ten years while serving the Lord in that ministry I was able
to do many great things that I never imagined I would ever be able to do. As a partier I
used to love talking about all of the things I wanted to do, but I never actually got
around to doing any of them, I just partied. In serving the Lord however I have had the
opportunity to take part in ministry trips all across Canada and in the United States,
Great Britain, and Africa.

The Bible says that when you live according to the word of God, God will prosper you
Deuteronomy 28:1-14), and over the course of my years of living for Christ I can
testify that this is true. He has delivered me from my alcoholism and drug abusing
lifestyle. He has healed me of my mental illness. He has blessed me with a solid
personal relationship with the Holy Spirit, which together with the word of God sustains
me and guides me through life, a personal relationship that is spiritual and according
to John 17:3 is what eternal life is all about – “And this is eternal life, that they may
know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent”. In pursuit of my
desire and call to serve the Lord in ministry I was able to complete the work for an
Associate Biblical Studies degree through Global University. The Lord has blessed me
with many great friends, friends who are not just friends, but family as well, even
brothers and sisters in the Lord. Despite mainly earning missionary wages while
working in the ministry the Lord has blessed me with my own townhouse. And I still
have managed to find time for enjoying life. Over the years I have managed to do my
share of travelling and I regularly go up north to fish, which I love, among many other
activities (see the “Bio-sketch” link on the home page).

My life today

Today I find myself waiting on God for a vision He has put on my heart for ministering
the Great Commission world-wide called “The Biblical Church” (see the link on the
home page).

God has just really opened my eyes to the overwhelming importance of the ministry of
the Great Commission, the ministry of evangelising the world and making disciples of
all nations, a ministry that literally ministers His salvation to the world. He has made it
very clear to me that the Great Commission is the church’s mission and that if we are
going to do it for real we literally need to make it our mission from God where we are
wholeheartedly focused on it and where we refuse to let anything stop us. The
is my plan to be this serious.

Currently I am waiting on God to see if He is going to raise up a team of likeminded
Christians to join me in getting this church started.

All I have to say is it is never a dull moment serving the Lord and the adventure

I am curious myself to see what happens next!

Wayne Flonders
© 2012