Thursday, July 15, 2010

Strangely Encouraging...

Many Pastors get in their cars on Sunday evenings and it can be a very discouraging time. They have preached the Word, ministered, prayed, wept and laughed with people they love deeply. They have had kind, encouraging words spoken to them and, at times sarcastic words spoken to them… but to say the least it is emotionally draining. However, to be very honest there have been very few Sundays at Trinity that I have left discouraged or frustrated. But, I must admit that I don’t know if I have ever been as encouraged on any Sunday as I was our last Sunday in June. Now if you are a Pastor and reading this, that probably sound crazy because with people out of town on vacation and about two hundred other events going on in June and July, these summer Sundays can usually be discouraging. I walked in and our service looked…well like it was the last Sunday in June. But we began with 4 baptisms of people that ran the gamut of ages, we had incredible worship, 2 more professions of faith. This was followed by several visitors at the Pastor’s Reception, one of the best deacon’s meetings we have had, and then a wonderful Sunday evening service.

Now all of these things have happened before during my time at Trinity….but at the end of the service on Sunday evening, I was speaking with a lady who was asking about joining our church family. I introduced her to my wife and to another sweet lady who is a member (we will call her Laura because that is NOT her name). As we began to talk with this sweet visitor, something unique happened and it was at this moment my heart began to rejoice. She is a member of another church in our area and I was getting ready to talk with her about this issue, when “Laura” said (I summarize)---“We have a wonderful church and I love it and can tell that you do to. But, can I ask you why you are leaving ______________Church?” After the lady explained her reasons, Laura then questioned her in such a loving way and asked her if she had prayed about this decision…Laura was very tender with the lady, but politely questioned to see if there was any problem or bitterness towards her present church. “Laura” did this in such a gracious and loving way that it made my heart leap! I have been preaching about the Church and the commitment we must have to one another and this dear lady gets it! With grace, love and mercy she presented questions in such a way to let a visitor know that she was wanted at Trinity, yet sought her spiritual well being and sought to protect this fellowship! She got it! So in short - this one event put the last Sunday in June over the top. It is a blessing to watch the Body of Christ, do what the Body of Christ should do! I know in a day that the chief desire of many Churches and Pastors is to just get’em in. I am encouraged by a church that wants health above all else. Thank the Lord for all the “Laura’s” and “Leonard’s” at Trinity!