February 23, 2009

The Way it Should Be

We moved out of the school and into our storefront facility just over a month ago.  The excitement has been building and growing ever since.  On the first or second Sunday in our new building, I noticed a couple of greeters having a conversation with a man just outside.  Next thing I knew, they had brought him in and helped him find a seat in the auditorium.  After the service I was introduced to Joel.  Joel is a homeless man who was walking by our church that morning.  The greeters had stopped him and started talking to him.  They had invited him to stay for church.

The next week, Joel was back.  And then the next.  I've seen Joel around.  He's got it pretty tough (he doesn't have a home).  He lives meal to meal.  In this time of recession, many of us are complaining because we can't eat out as often.  Joel is happy just to eat.

Yesterday we celebrated the Grand Opening of our new campus.  We talked for several weeks about inviting a friend.  If everyone brings one friend, we could double our attendance.  So we prayed for people to invite, we invited, and we prayed.  Over 300 people came.  It was awesome!  But one of the most awesome stories was Joel.  Joel invited friends too.  And one of his friends came!  Daryl is also homeless, but he was happy to be at church with us. 

Joel is the perfect example of what every Christian should be.  He took the challenge to bring a friend to church.  And he did.  And that's the way it should be.


darylwagner said...

Yes, indeed, the way it should be! Jesus Loves US this I know!!!

Tom Hogsed said...

That's just an awesome story!

a.helms said...

Just the week before I had the opportunity to talking with Joel. I haven't been able to stop thinking about him since then. Joel and I had a long conversation about his situation. He isn't just homeless, but he is also disabled due to being hit by a car and the woman was not charged for it. Joel now has a prostetic titanium type leg. it is very hard for him to get around. He has filed for disability but like most people has been turned down for it. I prayed with Joel that day that he would not give in or give up. I let him know the turn downs are normal and let him know what I too had to go through for 3 1/2 yrs to get disability in today's society. I couldn't give Joel money for food that Sunday but I did ask and pray that he would come back. I had not seen someone in his situation be so excited about being there that Sunday and then come back and tell me that he had invited every person that week he had come in contact with to come as well. Every person should take one moment to get to know him and just sit with him for a moment. You may learn something about living for and like Christ within that precious moment. I know I did!!