I went to preach ‘away from home’ at another church last Sunday. It is a church that is struggling to remain viable. At the first service there were six others and me. At the second there were seven … and me.
I have mixed reactions to such a situation. My emotions get involved too. My automatic reaction is, “C’mon, call it a day!”. I have never been someone who thought that supporting a cause that was going nowhere was a good thing. Read the signs and make the hard decision.
However, my heart was in a different place. I had a strange sense of excitement while travelling to the church. I was champing at the bit! I wanted to preach. When I got there, yes there were few, but the experience was good. We sang well, the people were attentive and I experienced a degree of liberty I had not felt for a while.
I don’t know what to make of an experience like that. I am happy to respond to any call to preach elsewhere as long as there is no adverse effect on Solihull Pres. I want to preach more that I currently am (at Sol Pres we only have one Sunday service). It is not for me to make the hard decisions in difficult places I have no part in. But should I not be fed up at preaching to small congregations in difficult places?
I don’t think so. Paul helps us when he says, “Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” (1 Cor 9:16). When necessity is placed upon a man, he would preach to anything!
I thank God for help in a difficult time. I thank God for the fellowship with brothers and sisters pressing on. No one said this preaching business would be without trial. But the joy of preaching and hearing the gospel overshadows it.