Well…Easter services are over and there can be sort of a “post partum” for some pastors. You work hard, pray hard, organize, strategize, promote and encourage and after preaching it strong and meeting lots of wonderful new visitors…the Monday morning blahs. I felt like I had been run over by a truck on Monday. However, a pastor friend of mine tweeted, “News flash: We’re celebrating the resurrection again next week at church!” Amen to that!
I do not have lots of platitudes or witty comments this time. I simply wanted to share some of what God did this week (and, of course, continues to do every week). I know that the following testimonies are representative of similar stories in your churches. To God be all the glory…Great things He has done!
A 17 year old from Derby came up to me after one of our services. He said, “I’ve never been in a church…ever. When you asked people to raise their hands and pray for God to come into our lives…I did that…that really moved me.” I asked him, “Do you think it worked?” He replied, “I sure hope so.” I prayed with him and he just wept.
A young man attended our church from the Department of Corrections Work Release program over a year ago. He was released and had never come back. A few weeks ago another man came to church because the first one had recommended it. On Easter, the second man had brought back the first guy along with his girlfriend. He had been in a gun fight the Friday night before, been injured and told me, “I’ve been in the wrong places at the wrong time with the wrong people. I’m coming back to church and I gave my life to Christ today…and so did my girlfriend.”
A member of our church prayed for her father and his girlfriend to come to church on Easter. The Lord gave her a vision of them coming in and sitting in a particular place in our sanctuary. She asked them for weeks and kept trusting God. On Easter morning, they came…and sat down in the very spot.
It’s funny. I just read this quote: “If you look at everyone who comes to your church as someone who is hurting, you’d be right about 97% of the time.” This Easter, I was reminded that church is full of hurting people searching for healing. The church is a hospital for the sick more than just a waiting room for the saints. When we see the church as a triage center for the wounded, the broken, the battle-weary, it changes the way we minister. We do encourage, we mend, we love, we certainly worship a great God. I hear the words of scripture, “It is God’s will that none would perish, but that all would have eternal life.” (my paraphrase). Also, “He came to seek and to save that which was lost.”
“I once was lost, but now am found…was blind, but now I see.” Let’s be keenly aware of the lost, the blind, the wounded that walk in our church doors. They are gifts from God…and gift to God. Handle with care.