But our citizenship is in have. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord, Jesus Christ. Philippians 3:20
Have you ever driven by a church and seen the sign that tells you how many people were saved at the last service? I have seen those signs numerous times and frankly, I’m a bit skeptical. Just as frankly, it’s none of my business. Those decisions, real or not, are between God and the people making them. But, that is one way that churches assess their value, measure their effectiveness, weigh their fruit.My husband and I have been visiting/attending the same church for about seven months now. We like it but still have some questions about whether or not it is home. Everyone has a different idea of what is important in a church. For some it’s size, for some the children’s or youth opportunities. For my husband it’s the teaching and for me it’s equal parts teaching and music.
I’m not sure what criteria the leadership of this church uses to assess the success of their ministry but there is no sign out front denoting the number of souls saved. There is occasionally a mention of the number of baptisms that have taken place and such numbers are mentioned with great joy. That’s a good thing. We should feel joy when souls chose Jesus.This Sunday something occurred at church that I hope brought enormous joy to both Shane, the pastor and Dave the music pastor. The message was on Revelation, always a complex topic and Shane handled it well. He walked that tightrope between too little and too much information (for the time frame) with simple but effective grace. He opened doors and made a gentle invitation for all of us to take a closer, more personal look at that particular book of the Bible.
As I said, the music is just as important to me as the message and Dave and his group of talented musicians, has never disappointed me. Some weeks I am less excited about the song choices but no matter what they choose the music is always exceptional. This week the music was a mix for me, until the last song.Just before the close of the service a young man, normally just one more critter in God/Dave’s choir, took center stage. I suppose he was expected to have a verse or two to himself before we joined in but I’m guessing he was okay with what actually happened. That precious young man began to sing a song titled, “Where I Belong” and within a very few bars the entire congregation was standing, singing along.
Maybe I’m alone in my thinking but that far outweighs any sign of any kind. The spontaneous response to a song that reminds us that this earth is not our real home, which speaks to our longing for heaven, is real fruit to me. Somewhere in Shane’s messages and Dave’s music the truth that there is something far better waiting and that the way to get there is the Way, Jesus, has gotten out.I have no idea how many of the saved souls we see advertised are truly committed to Christ and again it’s not my business. What I saw Sunday was a church full of people who long for home. Today I remain uncertain as to whether this will become “our” church or not but I do know that something wonderful and right is happening there.
We are temporary residents of earth and if we know the truth then the words that young man led us in singing, “all I know is I’m not home yet, this is not where I belong” should ring loud and strong in our hearts.