For Stewart and Tammy Cook, this ministry is more than just a program to help their neighbors better understand the Bible; it is an extension of how God has changed their lives since they started the “Reading God’s Word with a Purpose” program almost six years ago.
“I was broken back then,” Stewart told Bridge42 Church in a 2018 Sunday morning sermon. “I was withered and anger had built up. I’ve been as broken as you could be for a long time.
For over a decade, the Cooks have been active members of a mid-sized Hickory church. Stewart served as deacon and Tammy was the church pianist.
“We were really in tatters,” Tammy said. “We were not in a relationship with Christ as we should be.”
The cooks said they spent all of their spiritual energy serving the church rather than seeking spiritual renewal. In 2015, years of what they call “surface Christianity” began to take its toll on them. According to Stewart, he felt his life, his marriage, his family and his faith were on cruise control.
“On the outside, if you had known us back then you would have thought it was happening,” Tammy said. “We had good jobs; we were really involved in the church and we were busy, but rather than having Christ first in our lives, we integrate him wherever we could.