How light represents LIFE

Ben Greene

Pastor & writer

  • Evangelism


Sixty-five lights went out at Sylvan Way Baptist Church in Washington two Easters ago. But ever since, unpredictable bursts of resurrection life have repeatedly illuminated the bulbs.

More than 90 percent of the people in Bremerton, Washington, are unchurched, pastor Ian O’Meara said. So, church staff put up a board on Easter 2021 with 65 bulbs spelling LIFE.

Each bulb, the pastor explained, represented someone who didn’t walk with God. Then, at that Easter service two years ago, every light went dark, helping believers visualize the unbelief in lives around them.

For years, Sylvan Way disciples have been learning to love their neighbors and reach out to those far from Christ. So, the church responded to the LIFE board with a commitment to share the gospel with family, friends and others. 

“People started really living on that mission and started sharing the gospel with others,” O’Meara said.

By this past August, when Sylvan Way turned on the last bulb, 65 people had come to Christ or been baptized. Eighty percent of those 65 people had not connected with the church until after the LIFE board was installed.

It was just the Holy Spirit moving. People got fired up and started sharing the gospel and inviting their friends and neighbors.

Ian O'Meara, Sylvan Way Baptist Church pastor

Several of the salvations came outside the church building. Other times, people were inviting their family and friends to walk with Jesus, come to worship or be baptized. Every time someone got baptized or trusted Christ as Lord, a light bulb turned on.

This Easter, two people released from prison came to Sylvan Way. After the worship service, they told O’Meara they’d heard of Jesus, but no one had ever told them he rose from the grave.

“Those are the stories from our community,” he said. “Someone who’s completely outside the circle comes in and finds Jesus, and their life has changed.”

Ben Greene, Pastor & writer

Ben Greene is a freelance writer and pastor currently living in Massachusetts. Along with his ministry experience, he has served as a full-time writer for the Associated Press and in the newspaper industry.

Additional articles by Ben Greene