The big wood doors creaked open. I thought it was dark inside, but it only seemed that way comparing the dark wood of the inside of the church and the bright sunshine outside. I took a step inside and immediately was presented with a folded paper from a man in a dark suit named Edward. There weren’t very many people in the church. I wondered if this church was successful at all. He shook my hand and offered to show me around, which I thought was very nice of him.
Walking to the left, we came to a small corridor. There were two doors on each side. Edward opened the first door and let me enter. Inside was a small group of people praying. Their prayers were about the worship service, Sunday School classes, the pastor, coffee time, visitors, and people accepting Christ. The prayers were beautiful, even though not everyone in the small group was articulate, that didn’t matter. We left this room. I asked Edward how long they would be praying. He smiled. “They will pray through the service. Their prayers make a difference, so it is important to continually pray.”
We went to the next room. I looked through the window and saw there were toys inside this room. I opened the door and entered with Edward following. Inside there was a grandmother rocking a tiny baby. She looked up with such contentment and joy. I didn’t want to wake the baby, so I just smiled and waved. She mouthed “God bless you!” to me. I returned the silent blessing.
After leaving the nursery, we went to the door across the hall. Edward opened the door and there were five children sitting around the table making a craft. The woman who was teaching walked over and greeted us. As we were chatting, a little boy came over to the teacher and asked, “Does Jesus love me even though I tease my little sister?”
The teacher answered, “Yes, Jimmy, Jesus does still loves you very much. I believe He would like you to be nice to your little sister in the future. How do you think you could be nice to her?”
He thought hard. “By playing games with her?”
The teacher patted his head. “That’s a great answer! You have a plan from Jesus.”
What great love that teacher gave to that little boy in telling him about the love of Jesus, and teaching Him about how to love others. I thanked her for her time, and we exited the room, but not without waves from all the precious children.
The last door was opening as we walked up to it. An elderly woman came out with her walker. She smiled at me and said, “Good morning! God gave us a beautiful day, didn’t He?”
I was so delighted by her greeting that I couldn’t help but agree with her. “Yes, He certainly did.”
Behind the elderly lady came a middle-aged woman who said, “Eileen, you come back next week and we’ll check your pressure again. You are doing great with your health plan!”
Edward introduced the woman as the parish nurse. “She helps take care of the elderly in the church offering her nursing skills so they don’t have to pay at the doctor’s office as much. Plus, we are informed if someone needs additional help from the church if they are struggling to take care of themselves.”
I looked at her taking her hand and said, “What a blessing you are to these wonderful people.”
Her eyes welled up. “Actually, I am the one who is blessed. What great love the Father has for me that He sent these saints for me to love. They have truly enriched my life.”
As we left the room, I discovered that it’s not the number of people, or the fanciness of the church that shows success. It’s the Spirit of the Living God that makes a church successful.
I turned to thank Edward for the tour. He said it was his pleasure to serve me. “There’s coffee upstairs before the next service. Would you like to join me for a cup and perhaps we can meet some others in the coffee room and then go into the worship service?”
I accepted his invitation knowing that my heart was warmed by what I saw and experienced. I was ready to worship and praise God for this very successful church.
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