My Story of Redemption: Joel Nickell

Series Intro: Christ Fellowship has just begun a new series on Sunday mornings walking through the book of Exodus. The story of Exodus is a beautiful story of redemption where God redeems a people from the pit of slavery and redeems them to a life of worship and mission. Over the next few months, we wanted to have members of Christ Fellowship share their story of redemption. We pray that you find these stories encouraging as you aim to live a life redeemed for worship.
1. Tell us briefly about yourself.
My name is Joel Nickell, I am from a small town in eastern ky, called West Liberty. I graduated with a Math degree from Morehead State in May of 2013 then moved to Bowling Green to work for the Baptist Campus Ministry at WKU. I moved to Bowling to marry my girlfriend at the time, Jessie Morgan, she is now Jessie Nickell, the plan worked!
2. How did you first come to trust in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?
I grew up in a Christian home, so I went to church and youth group every Wednesday and Sunday. I always believed in God and was convicted of my sin. I knew I was a sinner and the only way I could get to heaven was through Jesus. I remember hearing the gospel message and praying the "sinner's prayer" countless times, but I'm a very shy and reserved person. I never wanted to go forward for the invitation at the end of the service. Finally when I was in the eighth grade I told my Dad I wanted to get baptized. My Dad and Youth Minister talked to me about what that meant and I agreed. I was saved and baptized in the eighth grade, but my faith was pretty dormant until college. I was the good kid who didn't drink or cuss and went to church every Wed. and Sun. and prayed every night before I went to bed or when I needed God because I thought that was what being a Christian was about. In college I got involved in the Baptist Campus Ministry and got plugged into a discipleship 101 class where you learn how to follow Jesus. That is when my faith really started to grow and it became more real because I was actually in his Word and I started to fall more in love with Him.
3. How has being a member of Christ Fellowship helped you grow in your love for Jesus? 
Christ Fellowship worships Jesus every Sunday. It has made me fall more in love with Jesus because you can never hear enough about him. The more I hear about him, the richer he gets to me. The more I hear about his saving message, his amazing love story for us, the more I am in awe of him. Christ Fellowship centers everything they do around that message. Their worship service, their counseling, their Men's and Women's Fellowships, etc.
4. How has being a member of Christ Fellowship increased your love for the church? 
Christ Fellowship has helped me see how God loves his people all throughout the Bible. It has shown me how they commit and love another. They challenge us to know and pray for each member. The quarterly member's meeting and fellowships throughout the year help you get to know everyone. The more I know about the church from the Bible and seeing it in real life, the more I love it.
5. How has being a member of Christ Fellowship help you live on mission for Christ?
Christ Fellowship loves the neighborhood that it is in. They do everything they can to outreach to it. They have plenty of opportunities for outreach. One of the bigger ones is to move into the neighborhood. My wife and I moved into the neighborhood at the end of May and that has really challenged us to be in mission in all that we do. Going to work then coming back home and loving our neighbors and all the kids that come over to our house. The Missional Living Sunday school has also been really helpful in learning how to do that better.