Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Big Difference of a Small Church

Jeanie in the center with the other ladies at The King's Fellowship
Jeanie made The King's Fellowship her home church in November of 2016, and in only one year's time, the Lord has done quite a bit in her life. Though she was raised Catholic, she was born again as a Christian while in college. Since then, she has typically attended larger churches with congregations ranging from 500 to 1,000 members. Though these churches provided her with plenty of good spiritual nourishment and helped her to kick-start walk with God, there were also some setbacks. She explained, "When I was attending larger churches, I would at times find myself 'going through the motions' on a Sunday morning." Jeanie also felt that the large number of people made it easy to get "lost in the crowd", but in a small congregation, like The King's Fellowship, such situations are impossible.

Jeanie and Carol out at the Prayer Station
"I never thought I would see myself attending a very small church, but since being at the King's Fellowship, I've been finding myself regularly involved and really connecting with David, Robin, and the SLM staff. Everyone is really welcoming, which is something I didn't always find in the large corporate settings. It keeps me accountable and there is no 'going through the motions'. It has stretched me in many ways, and it's a good thing."

One of Jeanie's favorite parts of the service is the fellowship meal. It gives her the opportunity to connect with everybody in a setting that makes her feel like she's part of the family. Since attending, Jeanie has been able to serve with SLM in various ministry settings and has even contributed her musical abilities to the worship team. We have certainly been blessed in having her attend!

She concluded by saying: "I have much more joy in my life now than I ever had before. I always look forward to going to The King's Fellowship."

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

"You Guys are Definitely Going to Heaven"

It was a brisk morning down on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. When the chill of autumn starts to set in, our friends at the park get very excited about the warm soup we bring. The soup doesn't last long out there.

As I was pouring a fresh cup to set out on the table, an older Spanish man from the streets came up for his second helping. "You guys are so nice," he said sincerely, "You guys are definitely going to heaven!" I didn't quite know what to say. I thought to myself, "My 'kindness' earns me a right to heaven? No way!" After a brief silence, I said, "Thank you for your kind words, but my kindness is not the reason I'm going to heaven."

He looked up at me as if he was confused. "What do you mean?" he asked. I said, "The only reason I'm going to heaven is because Jesus died to cover my sins and I have trusted in Him to save me."

He chuckled to himself. He didn't seem convinced that a "nice" guy like me would need a Savior. So he retorted, "Are you a criminal?" "I used to be!" I replied. My answer shocked him. I continued, "You're looking at one of the most wicked people on the planet! I'm not good and I definitely need a Savior."

We went on to talk about different sins that he and I had both committed. We shared a common guilt.  I explained what the Bible said about all of us falling short of the glory of God and how we can all be justified by faith. This is the only hope for sinners like us. The One Person who qualified for heaven was Jesus Christ.  We can’t get there on our own merit but solely through His.  The way to do that is to repent and believe in Christ and the all-sufficient atonement that He made on the cross!

It always amazes me the way God gives us these kinds of opportunities to explain the gospel in such a wide variety of circumstances - even over a cup of soup!