Monday, January 23, 2006

What Do You Say?

This past Sunday was one of those busy Sundays you can only have in the church!

The day began with a gathering of Senior Adults for a class and fellowship at 8 a.m. I'm beginning to know people, so the fellowship is getting richer and richer. The class part is pretty "ho hum" but the teacher loves Jesus and does his best. I'll probably begin doing some teaching as soon as my wife and I get back from Burma.

Next there were two well attended worship services. Those are always busy times, especially afterwards as I try to connect with people the best I can.

Then came the afternoon and a unique experience. It is one I won't forget for a long time. CCV draws people with a wide variety of interests and backgrounds. It is amazing to see the life change working in them. One of those attenders, soon to be a member, lost a very good friend in an accident. Both were bikers. I was asked to do a memorial service for him Sunday afternoon. Family and friends gathered at a saloon in Rock Springs, AZ, for the "send off." After an hour of country music, I had time to say "a few words." Now what do you say to a room full of bikers and cowboys? What do you say when you climb to the band's platform and stand before a microphone as people are watching football, enjoying potato salad, and drinking Coors and other brews?

Well, the first thing I did was ask them to turn down the televisions showing the Broncos-Pittsburgh game. I did that mainly because I was getting depressed by the game's direction and didn't want to be distracted. When I started reading Scripture, the crowd got quiet. What did I say? I pointed out that with Christ the death of someone you cared for is hard to take, but to lose someone who wasn't a Christian was worse. I told those present that judgment rested in God's hands and it was best to leave it there. I told them that when Jesus comes into your life you can look forward to an existence with Him beyond the grave. I spoke of the good news that Jesus makes a difference now and in the future.

Would I do it again -- speak in a bar? Given the opportunity to speak the truth in love, I'd go anywhere! I didn't drink or smoke or curse while there. (I did enjoy some country music!) I was treated with respect and appreciated for taking the time to be there. It was an opportunity to plant seed. Will they take root? Only God knows ... so I'll leave it up to him. My former Senior Pastor, John Hampton, said he was trying to get his head around seeing me in a saloon, speaking about Christ while Denver was dying. I found it hard to believe, too!

Later that afternoon, I sped back to CCV to introduce those teaching Class 300. Then I went and took Class 200 even though I'd taught it for years in Canton.

This is just a reminder of the adventures now and in the future. God is giving me a challenge -- and I'm moving out to meet it.

6 comments:

joeharolds0071 said...
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Anonymous said...

My name is Wren...greetings from Montreal, Canada.
You have a wonderful blog here.
God bless you and keep up the amazing work!

http://s3.invisionfree.com/Hearts_Afire

Clarke said...

Mike:

Looks like you have some comment spam here...

Thats a cool story...I'm not sure I'd have the guts to get up and talk in a bar...at least yet...I hope someday that I will.

I've been trying to access the document on your page about the church of God...do you still have it? I have a deep interest in Restoration History....

theoquest said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
theoquest said...

Just found your site today while reading a little. Thanks for sharing your journey through ministry. I've just moved from my first ministry (of 6 years) to my second. Reading your reflections on your various posts has been interesting and encouraging.

Hopefully those at the 'send off' will be able to hear and take to heart your words of hope (despite the country music and Broncos loss).

Anonymous said...

Having ministered on Colorado's western slope, I thought you had probably done something like that before. I did a wedding at the Sleepy Cat resort up in the flat tops near Meeker. We did some good premarital counseling, shared the gospel both in counseling and the wedding service. I do not know where that couple is today but hopefully I'll meet them in heaven.

Too bad about the Broncos. We need a new QB.

Blessings on your work and trip to Burma! --Hawkeye Gold