I love a good plan. Strategy and tactics, they get the blood pumping. I think that careful planning brings honor to God, but sometimes he like to mess with us and work outside of our plans. If anything, he likes to keep it interesting.
This last Sunday was an exciting day. I found out only three weeks ago that we were having a baptism on April 5th. I immediately booked our only available meeting space on Sunday morning for a baptism class. Unfortunately, I only had 10 days to promote the class. By the time Sunday rolled around, we had about eight kids registered for the 9:30 class and three for the 1:00 class. Recently I modified the format of the baptism class where I allow parents to take the lead. After I spend twenty minutes clearly explaining how one chooses to follow Christ, I leave the room and let the parents review the information and if possibly, lead their children to a decision.
I discovered after the 9:30 class that one mom led two of her children to faith and another mom led her son to faith. Amazing! At the 1:00 service, a mom had me stay after and lead her two daughters to faith. It was a beautiful day. However, it would only get more interesting.
On Sunday the 252 Basics curriculum was setting up for an invitation. Basically on Sunday the verse was, “For the Wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life.” We clearly explained what this verse means. Then after the large group time, small group leaders further described how this verse impacted their lives as they shared their testimony of faith. Essentially, this week was setting us up for an invitation next Sunday.
Well, on Sunday night I ended up subbing in as a boys small group leader. After the large group time I had the opportunity to further break down the scripture verse. The service ended up letting out early, so I had to rush. We didn’t completely finish, but we did adequately set up for the big ask next week.
Then on Monday morning I was walking around campus on Monday and one of my co-workers told me how one of his volunteers was so excited about how her son came to faith the night before. “When did he come to faith?” It seems he gave his heart to Christ at church. I was a little confused. I didn’t give an invitation.
Later I emailed the mom. I congratulated her on the good news, but then asked for details. How did this happen? When did this happen? In her answer she found it odd that I was asking these questions because her son said that I was his teacher. Here’s the story:
God has been working in this nine year old boy’s heart for the last several weeks. He’d been asking poignent questions and his mom was thinking about setting up a meeting with me. Then on Sunday as I unpacked this scripture verse, every work spoke to his heart. At some point of me taking and him listening, he surrendered his life to Christ… all by himself. When his mom picked him up from the classroom, his eyes were teary eyed. The first words to his mother were, “my life changed tonight, I feel different, I received God’s gift of life!”
I got the whole story yesterday while on the phone with his mom. The genuineness of this decision has touched my heart. This last week was the set-up and the big ask is in a few days. However, God decided to side-track my plans for this nine year old boy and speak to his heart directly… in his perfect time.
It’s a great thing when your plans all come together and lives are changed; however, it’s another thing all together when God circumvents your plans to do soemthing special without your help at all.
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What a great story!
jonathan’s last blog post..33 Years and Much More to Go
Love it, love it, love it. Awesome that your co-worker and the mom took the time to share the story.
Thank you for this story. In preparing a message for my church this Sunday, God had already given me the title “In Spite of You” and the Lord spoke to my heart to google this phrase for an illustration. I’m going to use your story as my opening illustration. Your story blessed me.