The past week has been an amazing time of unusual blessing upon our church family. Just over a week ago, we celebrated our Lord’s resurrection with a powerful program presented by our Music Department here at Fellowship Baptist Church. The crowds were large, the spirit was wonderful and the services were such a blessing. The Lord met with us and for that, we are most thankful. Just a few days ago, we held the first service of our annual youth conference. To try and describe what God did during those twenty-seven hours would be pointless. He met with us. People were helped.
As I enjoyed these special days in the life of our church, and reveled in the blessing of God, my first thought was, “I’m so proud of our church.” (Before you condemn me for the sin of pride, allow me to replace it with the word grateful.) Our musicians and singers were at their best. They had diligently prepared and their presentation was superb. Our media guys were on top of their game. The videos, paired with the music, were extremely powerful. The spirit was excellent. There was nothing about these special services that disappointed me or caused me even a shade of embarrassment. Oh yes, there have been times over the past 29 years when something would happen in a special service, when I would turn a shade or two of red. Maybe someone would fail to do their job, or maybe a microphone would choose the most inopportune time to quit working. (If you’ve been in church long at all you know exactly what I’m talking about.) That didn’t happen last week. Not even once.
Today, as I think about these special services, I realize that I’m not just proud; I am fulfilled because I had a part in what the Lord did in these services. As I looked at the faces of our choir members I was thankful for how the Lord had used me in some of their lives. Some I had led to Christ. Others I had been privileged to counsel through some of the darkest moments of their lives. Some of our choir members were in our youth group when I was a youth pastor. A few of them I had dedicated to God as little babies. Some who had a part in the service were there because the Lord had given me the wisdom to place them in positions of leadership. As I looked across the auditorium at youth conference I saw fruit from our church’s labor over the years. As I listened to our teens sing, I remembered when most of them were born and I held them for the first time.
As I looked at the crowd for these special events, I was thankful that I had personally spent time trying to get people to join us. I had invited people to attend. My wife and I had knocked doors to pass out fliers, telling folks about the services. As I sensed the Spirit of God moving in our midst, I was so grateful that I had spent time in prayer for that particular hour. It occurred to me that I wasn’t just a spectator, watching what God was doing, but I was a participant, striving together with the Lord!
Before you accuse me of being prideful again, let me say that I am well aware that it’s God that gives the increase and that without Him, we can do nothing. I am also aware that Almighty God has chosen to use people in His work. I am reminded that He invites us to come unto Him and to enter into His yoke. It is He who counts us faithful and puts us into His ministry.
I am grateful for those who enjoyed these special services at Fellowship Baptist as “proud” members of our church. I am especially happy for those who were fulfilled, as they witnessed God taking their feeble efforts and doing something mighty with them. There is vast difference. Those who watch the Lord work are happy. Those who help the Lord in His work are joyful. There is nothing like partnering with Christ to impact the lives of others. For those in our church who are proud of your church, I believe you have reason to be. For those of you who are fulfilled, I am most happy for you. May God give us all a greater desire to serve with Him on a daily basis.