Our view of God is a result of how we have been indoctrinated. In other words, whether you believe in God or not is influenced by your experiences, your history; be it in church, outside of church, experiences with Christians, or non-Christians. The experiences we have mold our view of God/Church/Jesus.

My experiences have affected me. As a young person, God was real, but distant (Catholic). In my teen years God was introduced as an alternative to going to hell (Calvary Chapel – Jesus Movement era). As an adult, and on into the ministry years God was introduced through ritual, “this is how we do it” protocols (Baptist). However, I have come to see God through the person of Jesus found in the New Testament, and the ministry of Jesus confirms to me that God desires relationship with me not a religion. Jesus calls me to follow Him in relationship how about you?

Think about this, what if all you have experienced in churches could be erased and you could start fresh, start all over again with a perspective of Jesus that is not tainted by, or inaccurately represented by past experiences.

If you were to look at Jesus through Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John the four accounts of Jesus’ life found in the Gospels here is what you would find, it is relational! Rules don’t make a relationship LOVE DOES! This is love, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13 NLT). This is what Jesus did for us all.

If you start loving Jesus you will start doing things differently. You’ve been in love; you know when love is in your heart you start thinking and doing things differently. Jesus loves you. He says follow me. He doesn’t say; follow religion, the church, or a charismatic leader. He simply says, “Follow Me.”

Take a look at the Jesus of the New Testament. He is much different than what you may have experienced. He accepts you “as-is.” He doesn’t say change, and then you can follow me. The good news is when you begin to follow the Jesus of Scripture He changes you!

You choose, follow/not-follow


About slennertz

Dr. Steven Lennertz is Founder and Lead Pastor of Eagle Ridge Church in Menifee, California. Steve accepted Christ as his Savior and Lord in 1975 during what is known as the "Jesus Movement" at a Saturday night concert at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. As a young man, Steve worked in cabinet shops, and later obtained a Contractor’s License. He owned one of the Inland Empire’s premier cabinet shops for over twelve years. It was during this time Steve sensed God calling him into full time ministry. He surrendered to God’s leading to plant a church in Menifee in 1994. Steve has a passion for life and for helping others find their purpose. His in-depth teaching from God’s Word equips people to be effective followers of Jesus Christ. In addition to shepherding the flock at Eagle Ridge, Steve had served as a Chaplain for the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department and is now devoting all his energies at Eagle Ridge. Steve earned a Bachelor’s Degree from California Baptist University, a Master of Arts in Theology with a concentration in Pastoral Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry Degree from Gateway Seminary in December of 2017. Pastor Steve is a native Californian; married for 40 years to Kathryn, who is also a graduate of CBU with a Bachelor, and a Masters in Education. Steve and his wife enjoy spending time with their family. They have a daughter, two sons, and they are especially blessed with eleven grandchildren. You can email Steve at View all posts by slennertz

4 responses to “Follow/Not-Follow

  • dfour26

    Pastor Steve is a very good leader and teacher, pay attention to this guy. He gets it.

  • Connie Newby Freitas

    Loved this message today. Give me a relationship with Jesus!

  • Rosemary Terranova

    I liked what you said and agree. When I became an adult with kids, I wanted them to know Jesus, not Assembly of God’s religion. I am not a denomonation. I am a child of the most high God. May God Bless you with many more statements as such.

  • Paul once called Saul

    Pastor Steve and my church family has been instramental in my relationship with Abba God

    When I was found in Him 9 month ago ,I was living in sin, chemicaly dependent and filled with a life time of hate,shame,guilt and all the other form`s of pain a life time of living out side Gods warm embrace will fill you with.

    In the nine months I have been walking with the lord ,He has been by my side every step of the way.While he taught me of His love ,never foresaking me even ,when I was wrong and I knew it . Expecting Him to abandon me,He never did in those times he held me tighter.little by little (God knew I was a knuckel head and went at His pace for me) taking my old ways and changing them for his.hate for love,quick temper for patience,vengfull for peacefull,rage for joy.At times these leason where through much difficulties and other with out notice

    My race is not over far from it,He is forging me closer to his likeness each day and all though my life is by no means perfect and still with much trials.What he has restored and made new has me in awww

    I have 45 days clean from chemical dependency,60 days abistanant from sex and more then a year since I have been drunk.This has all been done by the GRACE OF GOD, not of my own will for I have none.This has been the longest periods for all three since i`ve been 13(Im now 30).The biggest blessing has been His joy in me now longer shackled with guilt and pain,even in the face of lifes woes,He is joyus in me

    Praise God for amazing examples of Gods love I have found in Pastor Steve and my church family

    Thank you Abba for allowing us to be your children and covering our sins through your son Jesus Christ

    peace and love be multiplied ,amen

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