Last Sunday I took a trip to a city north of here, not far from the equator. I had promised to make this trip and speak to the leadership and church in this particular city. I had also heard for a long time what an exciting thing was going on up that way. So I was looking forward to this trip. Sort of.
The night before I took my bride to the airport so she could celebrate Christmas with our girls and our grandson. When I got home at ten, my neighbors had cranked up a party. As it so happens with such parties, the music grew louder and louder as the alcohol bottles grew emptier and emptier. Sleep was not going to come.
I had to leave the house at 2:30, anyway; so I got on up and headed to the airport for my 4 AM flight. It should be against the law to fly at that hour. It means being up all night for most of us. I mean, I don't live there; I don't even live close to the airport. So, with no sleep to rest my eyes, off I went, arriving at my destination at 5:30. There is not a lot one can do at 5:30 AM. But I had investigated and found a 4-star hotel there with a nice breakfast buffet. And off I went, polishing off a nice breakfast and settling in on a very comfortable leather couch. There, I managed a thirty-minute nap to give my brain a rest before preaching.
The time finally crawled on to the hour the local pastor said he would get me from the nice hotel. The pastor showed up and drove me to the rented facility. His church would not hold all the leaders that would be there. I asked how many would be there; he told me only about 4oo, or more. This was their "small" meeting. Now for you megachurch types, that may be small. But these are missionaries and lay preachers, plus cell group leaders. It's quite a sight.
I watched and listened as the pastor called forward each one of these. This is where I was so impressed. This church has started 31 churches over the past 10 or 15 years. Thirty-one. They train a leader and head out to a new village or community. There they preach the gospel and let God go to work.
I am amazed at their response. They are hungry for the things of God and want to be more involved. Is that revival? Is that what I saw? Or is it just simple obedience--the church being the church?
Whichever it may be, we should all be so motivated by the things of God. They get excited over spiritual things. Do you? When they are stirred, they do something about it. Do yo? Do I?
It was a great ending to an exciting year. May we see yet more of it next year!