In my early days of being a pastor, I gave an old-school altar call at the end of a worship service. I did it because I knew that there was a man there, Lee, whom I thought was finally ready to settle the decision about trusting Christ with his life. I even extended the singing and told the congregation that I knew that there was someone who needed to come forward. I could see Lee out there crying and I thought that a little push would bring him some relief. It certainly was not my usual way to end a service, but it seemed right for that day.
As we were singing the last verse of the song, I was suddenly surprised to see a man named Brain step out in the aisle and make his way down to me at the front.
I almost said, “Not now, Brian, I’m doing an altar call.”
I had no idea that God was doing something in Brian’s life and that Brian was ready to make it definite.
It was sometime later, and privately, that Lee made his commitment to follow Christ. Both Brian and Lee were baptized and became great examples of the love of God. (Lee has an unbelievable recipe for barbecue sauce, so he serves up awesome ribs.)
The point is that God works in the hearts of people in surprising ways.
This Sunday at the Gathering Church we will step into the beginning of the first church established in Europe by the Apostle Paul. Found in Acts 16:11-15, it all happens because God opens the heart of one person to believe Paul’s message.
Lydia, a business woman, hosts the first church.
How can we learn to be alert for the Lydias in our circles?
How can we resist a status quo that acts as if God is not at work at all?
Like there’s no wind.
Let’s learn from Paul and Lydia.