Yesterday morning our High Schoolers gave a report on their summer missions trip to Mexico. Our congregation invests a lot in the trips these kids take and I thought it best if the congregation heard the impact they were having, not only in Mexico, but on the kids themselves. They did a SUPERB job! (I actually got sick of the number of people who joked [thinking it was original with them]: “That’s the best sermon I’ve heard here in a long time!”) Four of our kids gave testimonies of what God did in their lives that had people in tears.
But our youth minister and I had agreed that we wouldn’t really issue an invitation. It wasn’t really an evangelistic type of message. Why push it, when that was not the focus. Although we had told our music minsiter that Matt would endthe service in prayer instead of me, we had not specifically said there woudl not be an invitation. So first service we had the invitation (Will led it and then invited me up to pray…exactly what we agreed would NOT happen).
So before second service I touched base with both of them…after the presentation, Matt would end the service inprayer and Will would lead us in the closing song–no invitation. It especially seemed appropriate because one of my two prayer counselors for that service was in the hospital with her mother with an emergency. (Mom had been rushed by ambulance from Tilamook on the Oregon coast to Portland). And that is how the service went.
EXCEPT…the Holy Spirit keeps deciding to do things HIS way. Where many, many Sundays no one comes forward for prayer with our prayer/decision counselors, this week TWO GROUPS of people came up asking for prayer. My one counselor (thank you Jerry if you read this blog) acted valiantly and covered both groups.
*I* had decided that God was not going to move in a service that was not evangelistically focussed (was there a bit of pride also…I wasn’t preaching, so God couldn’t move? I hope not, but I don’t know). But God chose to move. He has the habit of doing that. Thanks, Lord for not letting me forget.