Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: CHILL (10/29/15)
TITLE: Chill Out, Church
By Noel Mitaxa
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Kelvin’s sermon preparation needed a fresh stimulus anyway, and he’d learned that rigid adherence to flexibility often opened the way to unexpected blessings; so he accepted. But now, resuming his Greek wrestling, he found that curiosity and anticipation were jointly escorting him towards that three o’clock coffee.
At three, he entered Smokey Sam’s―almost feeling the glow from where Matt sat smiling. Way down back. From behind two expectant cappuccinos.
On reaching the table, Kelvin accepted the firm handshake that extended from beneath that ever-widening smile. He sat down and began slowly sculpting the froth with his spoon, waiting for Matt to enlighten him.
“Pastor Kelvin,” Matt began, “I’ve never been able to share my testimony. I just never knew just what to say. But now you’ve started the prayer team praying for everyone in the church each day; and for God to anoint our conversations with people we meet that day; witnessing is getting to be so natural. Kate and I had been praying for one couple for six months; hardly ever seeing them. But in the last two weeks we’ve just kept bumping into them. I tell you pastor, God seems to have stepped into our lives!”
Kelvin’s interest was suddenly diverted by a thick bandage covering Matt’s left hand. “Hey Matt, what happened there? It must have hurt…”
Matt briefly flashed a grimace, “It sure did, Pastor," he admitted, as he laid the offending/offended article on the table. However his smile quickly reclaimed its lost ground as he continued, "But please meet my new witnessing tool. I gashed it with a screwdriver when I was rushing a work project last Thursday, and it needed stitching at our clinic. Later on at home I felt God telling me how Jesus allowed his hands and feet to be pierced with hate―not by accident. And he allowed it because of his love for me and the whole world.
“Now it’s a way for me to help guys at work to sense God’s love for them. Some of them have asked a few questions. Others have just gone quiet; but I’m learning to relax with God’s times on his moves with them, rather than trying to pressure them.
“That Prayer Power Team is a daily reminder for me to thank God for their prayer, and to ask him to help me to recognise his timing when I meet people,” he said.
“That’s true, Matt, Kelvin replied. “I had no idea exactly how God was going to fulfil his promise about demolishing strongholds and arguments that set themselves against God; because our battle is not a worldly one, as second Corinthians chapter ten and verses four and five show us.
“His methods are not to mount external attacks like battering rams, catapults or sieges that armies used in biblical times. And he doesn’t need us to launch biblical assault missiles from a safe, antiseptic distance, because the salt of his grace working through us will corrode their defences from within. And as we relax with them in God’s acceptance, they will even begin to dismantle their own obstacles. Just like you’re discovering through the ministry of the prayer team.
“And Matt, in sharing that experience with me; how would you like to tell everyone at church on Sunday? Your story will connect more immediately with them than what they might only accept as nice theory from me.”
Two cappuccinos became four; accompanied by a couple of donuts―and by Matt’s agreement to share his story.
Kelvin returned to his study to find his sermon preparation suddenly completed. Matt’s interrupting text had validated his grip on flexibility, and his new-found escorts―curiosity and anticipation―were falling into step with his path to next Sunday. What new doors of blessing were about to be opened?
Chill out, church.
Chill out, preacher.
Author’s note. Any readers who would like to find out more about a prayer power team for your church, please contact me - once the anonymity cover is removed in a week’s time.
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