"Each week we walk and pray—with insight onsite—for community breakthrough. Even though our numbers for this event are small, every week one of our three groups comes back with a story of how God used them to minister."
- Pastor J Spurling
From time to time we'll be highlighting members of our CPD family to get to know them better. The questions and answers below are from an interview with Pastor J Spurling at Kapahulu Bible Church (KBC) in Hawaii.
Please give us a brief introduction.
Hi! My name is “J.” That’s right, just the letter J. I was born and raised in a strong Christian family with Alliance roots. My father served as an elder for as long as I can remember—church has always been a huge part of my life. I accepted Christ several times in my youth, but it wasn’t until I was 19 years old that the decision went from supplied knowledge to that of applied knowledge.
I immediately transferred to Nyack college in 1988 to make a break with my old way of life and experience a fresh start. After Nyack I worked for Macy’s as a store manager until 1994. God used my time in retail to show me that He had given me different call.
So, in 1995 I moved to South Carolina and attended seminary at Columbia International University. It was there that I met and fell in love with Karen—my wife, my best friend and ministry partner. We’ve served in several pastoral roles during our 17 years of ministry in Florida, Paraguay, New York and now in Hawaii.
What drew you into full-time ministry?
Honestly, everything else I’ve done (business manager, graphic artist, college administration) has never satisfied me. I took a pause from ministry for 2 years and God confirmed that He had called me into pastoral ministry. I’m good for nothing but church ministry =).
What are you most passionate about in your ministry?
The process of developing vision excites me—dreaming for and strategizing the next 5 years is fun. I’m also very passionate about evangelism/discipleship…for me the two are inseparable.
Tell us a little about the church you are in, or about the ministry you are involved with.
We have been at Kapahulu Bible Church (KBC) since the middle of July 2017. The church is a congregation of about 120 in attendance each Sunday. The church has a rich history as the first Alliance church in Hawaii. God has blessed KBC with faithful, available and teachable people who are positioned for a fresh work. We are at a place in our life-cycle where revitalization is key to our future. I’m confident with what I have observed in KBC’s recent history that God has an exciting new chapter in store for the church and the community around Diamond Head.
What are you dreaming about for the future?
I’m dreaming that God’s eyes rest on us and that He strongly supports us by transforming KBC into a body that is known for their discipleship, equipping and commissioning focus. I’m expecting that we will become one of many vibrant churches on the Island of Oahu.
Please share with us a faith story about what God is doing.
The ease of transition here to Hawaii has been the greatest demonstration to my family of what the Lord is doing. This is our third cultural transition in 18 years of ministry. Karen commented just a couple of weeks ago how smoothly this one has taken place. Our son is 14 and our daughter is 11—the ease in transition has been a miracle!
One specific ministry that I’m involved in every week where we see God working is our Wednesday evening prayer walks. Each week we walk and pray—with insight onsite—for community breakthrough. Even though our numbers for this event are small, every week one of our three groups comes back with a story of how God used them to minister. We’ve connected with shop and restaurant owners, on two occasions with elderly who have lost their way home, folks who have fallen away from church and are looking for a way back, countless people in the need of prayer, homeless with whom we have shared a meal, firemen who we have encouraged, and our own church shut-ins…the list grows every week. There are other areas where God is working—areas in which I’m not directly involved. Our pre-school ministry is thriving, our Children’s ministry is forming and young families are increasing; our 9–12 grade youth group (appx. 30) on Saturday night is mostly made up of un-churched kids.
How can we pray for you?
We are excited for our first annual “Grow and Go” equipping conference this Summer focusing on Prayer and featuring special guest Jon Graff. In the Spring of 2019 we are scheduled to have the second “Go and Grow” with Dr. Rob Reimer leading us in our first Holy Spirit conference.
We would appreciate your prayers for both of these conferences. Pray that the Lord would use and encourage the Kapahulu Bible Church faith community to equip the churches on Oahu so that the Lord can bring the growth to His Kingdom.
Pray also for me as I work with the District Office and KBC leadership to determine what our vision will be for the near future.
Please pray that the continued transition would be a smooth as it has been for both the Spurling family and the KBC faith community.
We would love to be able to share your thoughts with our CPD family. If you write a blog, or do other forms of writing, we'd like to consider utilizing you as a guest blogger. Please contact us if you're interested!