God had other plans for me
Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019, I had breakfast with a dear friend. From there I planned to make a few stops but as you read on, you will see that God had other plans for me. My first stop, which wound up being my only stop, was to DD’s Grace Beauty Supply Store (Read DD’s story: 50 YEARS IN THE MAKING…).
This was going to be a quick in and out stop to drop off a Christmas card and a butter cookie tin. I walked in the store and DD and I hugged. We had not seen each other or talked for a while. This is where God took over my day. DD needed to talk and I was there to listen and God was right there with us. When we were done, I picked up a few things. Finally, after two hours I was out of there but little did I know that was only the beginning of what God had planned and that I’d be writing about.
I was the answer to her prayers!
So, I’m in my car checking my texts before I pull out and DD runs out making signs to wait. Then a young woman runs out and approaches my car. I was like, “What’s going on?” So, I roll down my window and she says, “Ms. DD told me to talk with you. I overhead you two talking about God and spiritual warfare. I’ve been praying for a while to God to send me a mentor to help me with my spiritual walk and questions regarding spiritual gifts.” I said to her, “That’s me!” She said, “God answered my prayers!” She got teary and very emotional. We talked a bit then exchanged phone numbers. I told her that when I got home I’d text her and send my latest message which I did. Then we made plans to meet for lunch on Monday.
A new Christian’s “not so good” BIG Church Experience
Monday, Dec. 23, 2019, we met at 2:00pm for a late lunch and we talked a lot about her and the spiritual warfare she was going through. She was a new Christian, saved and baptized a few months ago and became a member of this BIG church. She was assigned two mentors and she shared with them about the spiritual warfare she was going through and asked for help because she didn’t know what to do. Her mentors didn’t know how to help so they passed her on to an elder. The elder was no help. I asked her if she talked with the Pastor because a Pastor who knows about spiritual warfare would be able to help her. She said that there was a hierarchy. I was like, “What! You haven’t talked to the Pastor or any of the many Associate Pastors?” She said no, the Pastor is not that easily accessible, you have to go through the hierarchy. I was like, “Really!” So, I immediately texted my supervisor, whose husband is a Bishop and knows about spiritual warfare. I asked if they were having Sunday service. She said yes. I texted her back telling her to expect the young woman at service.
Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, I accompanied the young woman to church. Bishop and first lady personally took care of her, as I knew they would.
Is The Church Too Big to take care of God’s Precious Souls?
Now let me take a minute to talk to my church folks, i.e., pastors and members. When we get too big that we neglect the well-being of God’s precious souls, that’s a problem. God is not pleased with that! How do I know this? Because I didn’t plan to write anything this weekend but yesterday God told me to write this today after I got home from church.
The church is the hospital for lost and hurting souls. When souls are saved we want to keep them saved. The church is where we love, comfort, care and pray for souls. When baby Christians have a bad church experience, this can be a turn off. Some people get so turned off that they leave the church and never return.
Again, when the church is too big to take care of God’s precious souls… that’s a problem! Granted, we Christians are not perfect and the church is not perfect but perfection has nothing to do with this. We should not neglect or dismiss people who are crying out for help because we have a responsibility to take care of God’s precious souls.
Deb’s BIG Church Experience
I had a similar experience with a big church. A church member and I met with the Pastor to talk about a project. It so happened that we both were going through tough times and shared it with our Pastor. He was dismissive and was rushing us out of his office. So, I said to him, “Aren’t you going to pray?” Then reluctantly he said a quick prayer and dismissed us. After I left his office I started thinking, “What kind of thing is this? You mean to say I had to ask him to pray. Really!” After that, he never asked me how I was doing. Thank God I’m well grounded in my faith. And you know what? God sent Pastors from other churches to care and pray for me.
I’m not saying to leave your church. What I’m saying is not to be discouraged. Pray about the situation and God will send somebody to take care of your needs if your church isn’t doing it.
Church business is God’s business
Churches (small, medium or big) #1 business should be taking care of people because it sure is God’s #1 business. It’s time for the church to get back to God’s business and not be all over the place. God’s business is above any other extra curricular business. God is love and we are an extension of His love through His Son Jesus. There are many ways to show some love to our church members and communities and we should not miss an opportunity to do so. So, let’s get our priorities straight. Alright! And please remember that Church business needs must be aligned with God’s business and not the other way around.
“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:34-35 NLT
“So guard yourselves and God’s people. Feed and shepherd God’s flock – his church, purchased with his blood – over which the Holy Spirit appointed you as elders.” Acts 20:28 NLT
“However, he has given each one of us a special gift according to the generosity of Christ. He is the one who gave gifts to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ, until we come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature and full grown in the Lord, measuring up to the full stature of Christ.” Ephesians: 4:7, 11-23 NIV
“Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.” Philippians 2:4-5 NLT
“Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God.” 1 John 3:18-19 NLT
From Deb’s to yours…
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