Back from the brink
SPRINGFIELD, MO. — Sunday morning. Four lonely automobiles dotted the church’s parking lot and the sanctuary was nearly empty. It was difficult to believe this once-thriving congregation had dwindled to a handful of parishioners.
The previous pastor had resigned and, for months, attempts to find a new leader had been unsuccessful. The members debated whether to close the doors and sell the property.
But one young man remained hopeful God had a purpose for the church. He pledged to maintain the facility and keep the doors open if the other members would continue to pray that God would send a pastor.
Some months passed before the Holy Spirit called a young minister and his wife to the church and gave them a fresh vision for the community.
Through outreach and prayer, the church began to show signs of life. New converts were added and the church soon regained its stature in the community.
Several years later, I accepted an invitation to preach to the congregation. That morning I had difficulty finding a parking space. The sanctuary was filled to capacity.
God had honored the faithfulness of a few and kept the church alive during a difficult season so the community could be touched with the love and message of Jesus.
If your church is passing through a difficult season, here is what you can do to honor the Lord and keep hope alive:
1. Do your part — pray, witness and remain faithful.
2. Do not become divisive or cynical.
3. Be an encourager, especially to the pastor and his family.
4. Do not give up. Hold onto hope that this season will pass.
5. Believe God for the miraculous.
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