With whoops, cheers and some tears members of the Southern Connecticut Church of Christ celebrated as campus ministers Will and Kristen Lambert were appointed evangelist and women’s ministry leader to the church in Madrid, Spain. Doug and Jennifer Lambert, Will’s parents and leaders of the church in Cincinnati, Ohio, flew in for the occasion. Also, present were Will’s grandparents and sister and brother-in-law, Kristen’s aunt and uncle, and friends who had traveled to witness the event.
“I’ve had the privilege of being able to appoint evangelists,” Doug said. “But to be able to be a part of appointing your son is something very special.” He said that before Will and his sister, Victoria, were born he and Jennifer had prayed two prayers. “We prayed that you would grow up, that you would love God, and we prayed that you would marry someone who loved God and loved you, and one of the most special things in my life is to see both of our children that being fulfilled.”
When Will Lambert and Kristen Cruz were hired from the Boston Church of Christ four years ago, they were new to the campus ministry and dating seriously but not engaged. Their growth and leadership for the past four years has been an inspiration to the church, and their courtship and wedding set an example in godliness and purity. Since then, both have led many to Jesus and raised up other campus students as leaders.
Doug and Jeff Schachinger, evangelist for the Southern CT Church of Christ, together charged Will to fulfill the responsibilities of the ministry with verses in 2 Timothy.
In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. (2 Timothy 4:1-5)
“Will, love the people under your care, just as Jesus does,” Jeff said. “Inspire them to see things they may not see right now. Encourage them to stay faithful and true to Jesus. Challenge them to hold firmly to the Word as our standard. The Bible makes that clear to us. Preach the Word from this day forward with all the authority that God has given you as an evangelist in his church.”
Florence Schachinger and Jennifer Lambert struggled to hold back their emotions—unsuccessfully—as they shared about how much Will and Kristen have grown.
“It is so surreal,” Jennifer said. “Children are born, becoming Christians, becoming married to a woman we’ve prayed for years … and now to be appointed evangelist with your amazing wife at your side.” Through tears, she thanked the church and especially the Schachingers for taking such good care of them. “There are not two people in the kingdom more perfect to disciple Will and Kristen. Over these past four years in their dating, their engagement, and wedding, it’s been Jeff and Florence.”
Florence shared next and addressed Kristen.
“This is a very special moment in our congregation’s history and life. This is a very special moment in your life and mine. It’s a victory for God, and it’s a spiritual marker for you.” Sharing about two biblical women, Naomi and Ruth, she said, “may you be richly by the God of Israel under whose wings you have taken refuge.”
Will and Kristen are leaving this month for Madrid with the love and prayers of the church.
-Written by Janice Smith, Southern CT Church of Christ