One of my core beliefs is that God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things.
Monday afternoon in a meeting with a member of the Mountaintop family I was reminded that God often does that in unexpected ways as she shared with me a story about God working in the ordinary details of our lives and ministries to do something extraordinary.
I found the story such a source of encouragement that I wanted to share it with you (while keeping the names anonymous so please bear with me) and a little background might be helpful.
Over the years this member (the one meeting with me) and her husband have befriended another, younger, couple at Mountaintop. Last fall the younger couple married and apparently after the wedding their church attendance became somewhat sporadic (maybe more like not attending at all). The wife described it this way in an email:
Since we moved into the new house and after the wedding our priorities have been all over the place. I just feel like since we’ve been in the house something is keeping us from church… whether it’s bad weather (and we decide not to drive in it) or deciding to cut the grass or clean the house real quick before church (and of course we don’t make it on time).
Last Sunday the younger couple found themselves home again on a Sunday morning. In her email to her friend (the one meeting with me) she says here’s what happened:
We were watching the service online when we saw you and [her husband] on the screen and I thought, “You are such a great prayer warrior! I need you to pray to help us get our priorities back in line.” We need to get back in the physical church building!
That prompted an email (sent while the service was still broadcasting online), a prayer request and a renewed commitment to make church a priority.
The story prompted a few thoughts:
· We have such an amazing team of volunteers operating cameras and calling the shots but ultimately God knew exactly which camera shot was needed to touch the heart of a young couple who need to get their priorities back in line. I am convinced that is possible because our media volunteers are committed to using the technical gifts God has given them to His glory!
· The woman who shared the story with me confessed that she actually had thought about attending another church last Sunday to hear a visiting speaker that she really likes. But God nudged them that they were supposed to be at Mountaintop (maybe in part so He could get them in that camera shot online). When we are obedient to God’s promptings, He strategically places us where we can be used by Him (even when we don’t realize He is using us)!
· Our online services are touching lives. Last fall we made a commitment to live stream both of our Sunday morning services (9:30 and 11:15). We are still learning a lot about how to do this but it is already making a difference. Think about this: Each week we have about 110 online worshippers – the median church in America averages about 85 in weekly worship attendance. Each week we reach people not only in Birmingham but also in more than a dozen states and in countries around the world. Almost every week someone from Mountaintop shares with me that they were out of town or home with a sick child etc., but were able to join us online (this week one dad shared with me that his family watched from a Jacks last Sunday).
So do me a favor. When you see a member of our media tech team please tell them “Thank You!” They are helping us take our vision of learning and sharing a better way to live outside our walls.
And consider using social media to invite someone to join us online this Sunday morning at 9:30 or 11:15 as we wrap up our series, A Word to the Wise, and learn how to deal with anger.