The church in which I grew up referred to the pastor as preacher or minister. This conveyed the idea that one was either clergy or a member of the congregation. The pastor did the visiting and preaching, and the congregation listened to the preacher.
When I was 10, my friends Larry and Terry and I listened to the preacher’s sermon. He told us that we should invite others to church. Then I heard that some of our church members were actually going out and inviting people to church.
So, one Sunday afternoon we set out to do what the preacher said…invite people to worship. Our parents got word of our intentions and told us to forget it. They said that adults did not want to be bothered by kids knocking on their door and inviting them to church. Sunday was their day off from work; they wanted to rest and watch television.
In the 1950s, television was still fairly new. If you owned a set, you probably didn’t want anything to interfere with your ability to watch. Television was high on the list of things to do after church on Sunday…visitation was not.
Slowly, our evangelistic zeal dried up. We learned that day that what the preacher said to do in church did not always apply to 10-year-old children, especially when it came to interrupting adults who were watching their Sunday afternoon ballgames. I’m thankful to have learned over the years that although God calls each of us to different tasks, we are still able to serve in our own ways.
I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.”
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