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This Feels Like Church Now!

09 Mar

“You really look stupid up there. Don’t you feel dumb singing acapella? The only ones out their worshipping God are your family. You’re a pitiful worship leader.” These and a myriad of other negative thoughts went through the mind of the pastor’s wife who was trying to do the best she could leading others in worship without the aid of music. Then there was the almost immediate exodus of the small congregation upon the close of service. Nobody seemed to want to stay around very long to get to know each other. Oftentimes, the pastor’s wife would think to herself, “This doesn’t feel like church but just a group of people meeting together.” Secretly, she wondered if things would ever change. After 6 months went by ,the church was able to purchase a keyboard with prerecorded music on discs that you could pop into the keyboard. Singing in this style was definitely better than acapella and served the young church well for a while.

When this pastor and his family had come to start a church, the pastor’s daughter who loved music, began taking piano lessons. After a while, she got to a point where she could play a few songs that would work well when the offering was being taken. Then came the day when her dad told her, “We are not using canned music anymore. You will be playing for the song service.” The poor girl was petrified, but God greatly blessed her efforts, and having live music added a new dimension to the worship. God brought a few families to the church that already had a solid Biblical foundation and were able to be a great blessing to this pastor, his family and the church.

When this church was started, they were able to rent a church building from another group and have a Sunday service in the afternoon. This went on for a little over 5 years. God opened a door for them to be able to remodel and lease a storefront in the downtown area of their city. Although they do not own this building, it is theirs to use exclusively. They changed their schedule for Sundays to the morning, with children’s church first followed by a family worship service. Outreach began taking place on a regular basis each Saturday. God has blessed their efforts with a steady stream of visitors and many new people seeking God at the altar.

As I was driving toward home a couple of weeks ago, all these thoughts flooded my mind, and I thank God for what He has done for us since we moved to Oakley 6 years ago. We haven’t grown as quickly as we would like, but God is good, and the devil is a liar. This feels like church now!

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11 responses to “This Feels Like Church Now!

  1. kweenmama

    March 9, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    It is always good to look back and see the changes and blessings that have occurred. I’m so glad things are going so well with your congregation.

    Yes, I’m glad I can look back and see how far the Lord has brought us. It helps me to believe Him for even greater things in the future. Thanks for stopping by.

     
  2. heartwhispers

    March 10, 2009 at 2:48 am

    Well spoken… we’ve experienced the same in Home Missions in Maryland and Tennessee. The church we are pastoring now is small and sometimes we have music and sometimes we don’t. :)
    But through experience, I know, keep plodding and praising, God will bless in His time! I love to hear of your blessings!

    Thank you for your encouraging words. It’s always good to hear from someone who’s “been there.” Someone once told us that you can spell revival with four letters, S T A Y. I believe there is a lot of truth in that. I was thinking earlier of how things grow in the natural. A beautiful, lush apple tree doesn’t grow overnight. It takes a few years before it gets to the place where it can produce good fruit. I think the same is true in the spiritual sense. A church will grow in God’s time, if we keep on doing the things we know we need to do. (prayer, fasting, worship, reading the Word, teaching the Word, etc.) Thanks so much for stopping by.

     
  3. Janet

    March 10, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    Thanks for sharing this, Carol. I appreciate your honesty about the thoughts you had at first…we all go through that at times, don’t we?! However, if we keep pressing on and listen to the truth of the Lord, rather than the lies of the devil, things WILL begin to happen! God will move, and He will bless our steps of faith, trust, and perseverance. May God continue to bless you and your church in the years to come!

     
  4. Cindy Hanson

    March 10, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    Your candidness is refreshing. The struggles of seedling churches… a cry I hear too many times. Those that are called to stay are a special people and you create in this an essence of fortitude we must all carry, whichever size church we attend. nicely done! cindy

    Hi Cindy. Home missions is no easy road, but the church that runs in the hundreds or thousand today once started out small. I’m thankful that God has blessed us with some faithful people to help carry the load. Thank you for stopping by.

     
  5. donna

    March 10, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    Wow, I am always filled with joy with good reports like this one. God is always amazing in ways more than we can imagine! More blessings to your church=)

    Hi Donna. Thanks for your kind comment and for stopping by today.

     
  6. Jerald

    March 11, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    It’s great to look back to see growth from less to more.
    Just keep on keeping on. There is more.

    Hi Jerald. Thanks for stopping by and leaving an encouraging comment. I too believe that the best is yet to come.

     
  7. zingtrial

    March 12, 2009 at 11:13 am

    Good work :) .
    We begin from the recognition that all beings cherish happiness and do not want suffering. It then becomes both morally wrong and pragmatically unwise to pursue only one’s own happiness oblivious to the feelings and aspirations of all others who surround us as members of the same human family. The wiser course is to think of others when pursuing our own happiness.
    Wishing you all the best.Keep it up

    Someone told me a long time ago that JOY stands for Jesus, Others, You. I believe trying it in any other order is what will make happiness elusive.

     
  8. Karen Hopper

    March 12, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    When thinking about your post, I thought of a quote by Martin Luther: “All who call on God in true faith, earnestly from the heart, will certainly be heard, and will receive what they have asked and desired, although not in the hour or in the measure, or the very thing which they ask. Yet they will obtain something greater and more glorious than they had dared to ask”. Your labor of love to Him will bring blessings and glorious events to Oakley church and its people – and the people to yet come.

    Karen, thanks for sharing this quote. I really like it. God does answer our prayers, in His time.

     
  9. helenl

    March 12, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    Carol, I bet you’re really glad you know the difference between what is church and what feels like church. You had to wait for the first to become the second. Feelings do follow facts. Praise God that it did.

    Helen, yes, I’m glad I know the difference. I think I had to experience the first to help me really appreciate the second a whole lot more.

     
  10. Cindy Hanson

    March 12, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    I caught your comment on Tombob’s thread.. (20,000 yrs) thank you for that story… honestly is powerful to hear such stories. I appreciate the way in which you live out your faith! blessings to you.. cindy

     
  11. tommyjoe

    March 17, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    Let’s have church! Nifty post!

     

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