Just a few-minutes ago Debra and I returned home from a visit to one of our local churches. Pastor Sammy and Wanda Allen gave us a warm welcome to the Erin Church of God of Prophecy this morning where we enjoyed the worship and fellowship.
Elsewhere in the State of Tennessee, congregations of the Church of God of Prophecy gathered for similar worship services. Our musicians played while our song leaders/worship teams led people into the Presence of the Lord. Our people gave of their tithes and offerings, to special projects and special needs. Then...the pastors ministered from the pulpits, preaching the Word of God without compromise.
The pastors sacrifice all-week-long, and many have already began preparation for next week's sermon. During the week they will rejoice at the birth of new babies, will watched activities that church children are involved in. They will counsel young couples contemplating marriage...and for those who are struggling, will offer counsel. They will share quick lunches, visit the sick and the elderly...they will be men and women called of God to be shepherds of His flock. They will console those walking through the valley of the shadow of death and will comfort those who mourn. They will fulfill their calling well, with great dignity and confidence.
Yes, there are failures by people in the ministry, but FOR EVERY FAILURE there are THOUSANDS who will NOT FAIL. The people of the congregation will minister to one another and to their friends and family.
They are REAL people in a REAL world. Not one imagined or invented...not one that is manipulated for their own self-aggrandizement or to feed their narcissistic self-promotion. They quietly go about their work, never recognized for the contribution they make, just doing their best to follow the Lord.
We are blessed to live among and work with these heroes of the faith. I am privileged to know them, and I am thankful that God has placed his Hand on them and enabled them to do the work of His Kingdom on earth.