The Encounter

May 7, 2015

Yesterday, I had an encounter. Not just any encounter but one that I believe will change my perspective on the Church of Jesus Christ and the opportunities for ministry that we have been given.

Let me describe my encounter for you. One of the men from our church was preparing for the praise team to come and practice. There were two men at the back door under the shelter due to the rain. Now these men were very intoxicated. Our concern was for the safety of the women who were to arrive for practice. So being the pastor, I told him I would come to the church to help with the problem.

To make a long story short, because these two men were inebriated they were asked to leave. But what made it worse was that both men were older and one was crippled. While they were leaving I was told many things by one of the men, but two items that were said I would never forget. One being, “you do not practice what you preach” and the other “you are going to hell.”

I was hurt because of the words and wondered what they meant to me as a Christian and pastor. Since the men were under the influence of alcohol there would be no services in the area that would help them and I now know the police would cause them to leave, checking for warrants. None of this helps with the church and it’s ministry opportunities. So, let me give some quick thoughts to this problem.

My prayer is that I will see these men again; sober, so I can help them with a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and some services in the community designed just for them. Second, we must all watch what we say. We all can be forgiven for our words, but the hurt will be present for a lifetime. The Bible says, that life and death are in the power of the tongue. So, let us choose life not death though our words.

Lastly, as a church, it is easy to worship and go to a Bible study, then do nothing else. The gospel demands that we learn to reach out, so we must prepare for it and know what our community has to offer. Jesus got his hands dirty so maybe it is time that we did the same thus, making our worship and Bible studies more intense.

Pastor Phil