Tuesday, November 14, 2006

God's Common People

Having completed a Revival Meeting in my home town of Plattsmouth, Nebraska has caused quite a bit of reflection. It had been nearly fourteen years since I had been in Plattsmouth and preached a sermon. It was there in that little congregation that I first cut my ministry teeth. I preached my first sermon as a teen there. I remember the bus program for which the church was known for around town. I remember the active Youth Group of some 21 teens. I remember the skit group that existed, the Eye Openers. I remember some of the full time preachers in the years I was there such as Clay Ross, Chris Thurber, and Paul Stidham. I remember worship attendance of 120 people. I remember the Youth Rallies, Area Wide Men's Fellowships, Area Singings, and Gospel Meetings we hosted. I remember the regular visitation, the Jule Miller Filmstrip Studies, and the outreach and evangelism that was a part of the congregation. I remember the church growing to the point it undertook a building program to accomodate the growth. I remember the air of excitement and joy I felt. I remember that at one point a majority of the people on Tammy Lane were Christians.

I felt a surge of excitement go through the congregation again. It doesn't matter that there are now less than twenty people in the congregation. God has demonstrated time after time that our size, ability, appeal, etc. doesn't matter. What matters is that we ordinary people believe in an extraordinary God. If God can call an 80 year old man to lead an entire nation out of bondage, then he can lead a common person like me to lead my freind to Christ.

During our revival, I was challenged and encouraged as I watched a small group of us go out into the neighborhood with the Gospel. I watched a young woman who was enthused about serving God go out on our first day and speak to a man about the Gospel. The man agreed to a Bible study. The weather didn't cooperate the next day, so we didn't do a whole lot. On day three, another study took place. We usually had only one team out, and a couple of times we had two. In what amounted to only two and a half days because of the weather, we managed to knock on 86 doors, found 34 at home, and had two Bible studies.

Since there were no baptisms, someone might wonder why I was so happy about that. In 1 Corinthians 3-4, it is clear that we are servants who plant and water, and God caused the increase. In other words, results are not my job. My job is to be faithful. The rest is up to God. I am sure that after we left those two studies, that the Holy Spirit worked on the hearts of those who heard. Essentially God has now placed the ball in their court. We were carrying out God's desire, and we can do no more.

This young woman from Plattsmouth is on fire for God. I learned that she has some health issues which would slow her down. I couldn't tell because she was so passionate about what was happening. I very much enjoyed working alongside her and the other members of the congregation. She is a reminder that when it comes to serving God, there are no excuses. It is not about my abilities or my limitations, about about God and what he can do. All God requires is faithfulness, trust, and commitment. In 2 Cor 12:7f, we are reminded that power is perfected in weakness. If I am limited, if I had shortcomings, quirks, lack of talent, etc. then this is great. God can display his power in me even more.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for coming down for the Gospel Meeting John. I am sad that I wasnt able to attend all 3 days! Your sermon on Sunday though was wonderful, thank you for it.

In God's Love,