Monday, June 28, 2010
I've Been Thinking
By Scott Phillips
I have been thinking about something I would like to share with you.
It occurred to me the other day something that I have fallen prey to. We have started a new church here in Clinton, Ms. We have had limited number of visitors from Pentecostal background, so many are not sure what to expect exactly.
A benefit that I did not fully appreciate previously, I now understand. When you take an existing church, no matter it's
history, there are possibly hundreds and maybe thousands of people who have walked through the doors, many multitudes have prayed, been healed, worked with, been related to, backslid, raised around,
ect connected to an EXISTING Local church.
This is a benefit I realized pretty quick we did not have. We have been here in Clinton for about 18 months, in fact we started our "church in a day" a year ago November 12th and dedicated the Building about 10 months ago. Our location is on a major road. We have put out thousands of fliers, run adds in papers, had front page coverage in our paper, even made it on a couple of television stations in addition to being on the Radio for 12 of the 18 months we have been here. Honestly, the results from these efforts have been considerable less than I would desire. (I understand it is a sowing process.) We have had a fare number of visitors considering we are a New Pentecostal Church in a very Baptist town. I am guessing we have had somewhere around 200-250 people who have visited with us. Maybe more.
When we do have visitors, we try to put our best foot forward. Often I feel like the smallness of some of our crowds is a little off putting, like on a midweek we might have 10, and two or three visitors come in, they sometimes seem to feel a little awkward.
So what do we do, we try to present ourselves as loving, kind, intelligent, concerned and interesting. I confess in the back of my mind I have been concerned of what they thought about "US". It occurred to me the other day that I need to quit worrying about what they think about "US" and focus our efforts on helping them be impressed with our God.
That is the crux of my rumination here. It is a hole we can fall in when we are overly concerned about what they think about "US" and how we do things, when our focus of prayer is, "Lord, help me to help them see you and your wonderful lovely way! Help me to illuminate in their spirit the power of Faith and Healing in your Name." It does not matter if they become members of our church, but that they hear the Only Saving Message, Feel the Grace of God and know that there are people that love THEM.
People are not near as concerned about us, as they are themselves and how we and our Faith will impact them.
The word in fact states, "He uses the foolish things to confound the
wise and the weak things to confound the mighty." Our ability to reach our culture, both small and great, rich and poor will stem from our ability to let God flow through us. We can improve ourselves in learning, practice and pursuit of excellence. However all of these are simply disciplines, no matter how important, but at the end of the Day it is GOD that will draw people, save people,
deliver people and bring them, plant them and establish them in THE CHURCH. Pharaoh was not impressed with Daniels ability to speak or dress, but it was his obvious connection with God.
My prayer is simply this,
Empower me with Wisdom and the Ability to Reflect and Communicate the Glory and Power to those who we come in Contact.
It is about Him. I have purposed in my heart to quit worrying about what someone would think about us as a church and me as a
preacher. Sure we are going to continue to put our best foot forward, but our focus is to communicate and illuminate HIM.
The Answer to every problem and the source of salvation is,
In Him, By Him, Through Him.
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