Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Evangelism (11/01/07)
TITLE: "God Only Knows"
By Frank Salerni
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A recent Billy Graham event caught my attention as I read the broacher claiming that this years topics would be geared for pastors of small churches. That’s what I have been waiting for. I have attended several “Mega” church functions, and have left with a heavy heart, because of an unrealistic goal that was set for my community and me.
The numbers given in evangelistic challenges brought forth for my consideration were often larger than our community itself. The lofty goals seemed to reach into the heavens, and far beyond to my estimation.
“How can You expect me to compete, Lord?”
This was not my needed answer, and I prayerfully would continue to engage in seeking God’s voice to bring evangelism into a small church within a growing community of apathetic individuals.
All too often even the worship teams at many of these events alone were larger than the active congregation I was a part of. Coming from a large church, and knowing the blessings of many hands, and realizing God wanted to show His strength to me with a smaller army of saints, I plodded on still somewhat disheartened.
My obedience would be tested over the few years to come, and to my amazement numbers dropped off even further as I continued to pressed in.
Now, don’t misunderstand me, I know it is not about the numbers, but a pastor should study and prepare the same for a few as he would for a thousand. The question comes up in your mind, “God, is it worth it? Am I making a difference? God, is this a joke? Am I being punished? Should I quit the ministry? What are You doing, Lord?”
These, and many other questions would be asked over, and over again. I think to ask of the Lord is only natural under these circumstances.
“Why do I see people come to this little church, and get saved or healed, and then move on to other churches in our community or other communities as well?”
The answer came at last, and with it came repentance and humility. I believe the Lord spoke to my heart in just a moment of time, and volumes are still pouring in.
“You are attending in a spiritual hospital. It is a spiritual E.R. You have been chosen to mend and care for the sick. They will in turn go into the highways and byways bringing comfort to those who are falling through the cracks of society. These are My children. Would anyone want to stay in a hospital after being healed? I am The Great Physician… you are a coworker in my kingdom. Now, be at peace.”
Going to any event brings you the revelation that you are not alone in ministry. Sometimes we can become like hamsters in a wheel, and we need to get away from our current circumstances in order to see more clearly that God’s work is HIS work. We are to serve HIS needs. He brings us to His marvelous light, and we no longer serve the ministry… we now serve the Lord Himself.
I was more than refreshed at that Billy Graham conference, and to anyone who is overburdened with responsibility please listen to me. His work is not in vein. Keep your eyes set on the task before you. Live for Him, and die to self.
Oh yes, and our congregation is really no larger than it was before this reminded revelation, but individual growth is flourishing. Evangelism starts with self, and spreads to the farthest reaches, but God Himself must send the workers into HIS harvest.
Understand that God is always just beginning His work. Look not at only where He has brought you… remember where He is bringing you.
Be encouraged in His service!
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