Pastor Collin Parker moved from Maryland to Virginia several years ago, and took the pastorate of a large church. One afternoon while sitting in his study, he began to deliberate the many days and sometimes-sleepless nights battling with thoughts that his method of preaching and delivery might not fit the new church.
One day, Pastor Parker went to the local grocery store. While there, he met Mekani Gregory, the store’s manager. Mekani appeared to be a good and energetic young man. Pastor Parker was pleased with the customer service that Mekani provided and before leaving; the pastor asked him, “Where do you go to church?”
“Well, to tell you the truth, Pastor Parker, I do not attend church.”
“Oh, I don't know. I got out of the habit, I guess. I used to go to church back home in Macon, Georgia.”
“Well,” said the pastor, “you will have to come visit my church. If I take these items with me, you will have to take what is waiting for you.” That seemed to strike Mekani’s interest, and he walked away saying, “Sure pastor, I will attend this Sunday.”
To ensure Mekani would attend on Sunday, Pastor Parker went to the store the approaching Saturday afternoon, and reminded Mekani that he would be looking for him.
On Sunday morning, Pastor Parker was at the church doors greeting the people and shaking their hands. The pastor saw Mekani approaching and was delighted. He said to Mekani, “I have been praying for you every since we had our talk in the store.” The pastor went on to say, “I somehow feel if you will allow God to be the Manager of your life, we can begin working together, and do great things with the blessing of God. ‘Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding.’” (Proverbs 3:13)
The sermon that morning was the story of the little boy who had the loaves and fishes which, in the hands of Christ, became sufficient to feed the multitude. The Holy Spirit blessed the message as the captivated look on Mekani’s face displayed great interest. He seemed very touched.
At the close of the sermon, Mekani walked to the altar, the pastor asked him to pray. He lifted his hands and his entire nature seemed to be broken up. He yielded in complete surrender to God. His face was full of joy, gladness and peace.
Mekani faced the congregation and began to share his testimony. He spoke of how the pastor conversed with him earlier that week. Then, with a sigh and trembling voice, he continued, “I had arrived tonight with no expectation of becoming a Christian; but that the pastor’s words led me from being merely content, to being totally happy. During the sermon, a peaceful voice spoke to my heart and said that I must make my life worth something to someone else by giving it to Christ.”
Pastor Parker was now happier himself, knowing the full measure of what it meant to win Mekani to Christ. By accepting Christ, Mekani vowed that he would not allow a Sunday to pass without having at least one new person with him in Sunday school, Bible class and church service. He commonly had two or three people with him.
Mekani found happiness in soul winning. Mekani sought immediate conversion. Within six months, he brought twenty-five people whom converted to God and joined the church.
If people approached the altar, he knelt beside them, watching over them with tender love. When the light of God broke into those darkened minds, and their spirits were born again, Mekani was the happiest man in church. He laughed and cried, and often, when opportunity presented itself to testify, he was too emotional to speak. He sometimes managed a sentence or two, such as, “Happy is the man who is always reverent”; or, “I would rather have the happiness of winning a friend to Christ every week than have the biggest store in town.” Mekani always said something from his heart. His words touched the fountain of tears in every heart in the church, making everyone happy and lifting him or her nearer to God.
Happy are the people who are in such a state; Happy are the people whose God is the LORD! (Psalm 144:15) There is so much happiness in soul winning.
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