Looking for a place to feel inspired and challenged? Like to share a smile or a laugh? Interested in becoming more familiar with Canadian writers who have a Christian worldview?
We are writers who live in different parts of Canada, see life from a variety of perspectives, and write in a number of genres.
We share the goal of wanting to entertain and inspire you to be all you can be with God's help.
Wednesday, June 01, 2016
Does Anything Really Happen? - Eleanor Shepherd
Does what we do on Sunday mornings and in our activity
during the week show any resemblance to the early church? Does that matter?
I have never had 3000 people eagerly respond
to any sermon that I have given. To be perfectly honest, I am not sure how I
would handle it, if that were the case. If when we gathered for worship next
Sunday, instead of our usual 130 to 150 people we had 3,140 people, we would
face mega problems. We currently operate our service in English, with Spanish
and French translation. How would we manage if we had groups that spoke several
other languages as well, and they needed translation? We try to provide some
variation in worship styles by using two different worship teams and a brass
band. How could we accommodate to the diversity of musical styles suitable for
more than 3100 people? We would have absolute chaos as we gathered in our
fellowship room for coffee after church. Besides filling the building to more
than its capacity, would be the challenge of trying to have friendly
conversations to get to know each other in the midst of the turmoil while
avoiding spilling coffee on our new friends in the jostling mob.
other hand, we often are tempted to ask ourselves is if the gospel really
works. We know that it has changed our own lives, but it seems to take such a
long time for others to respond to it.
One of my
favourite heroes in Christian history is George Muller.He ran orphanages in Britain and never asked
for financial aid from anyone except the Lord. He was a great man of prayer. Due
to a strong desire he had to see five of his friends embrace the faith, he
decided to pray diligently for them. After many months one of them placed his
trust in Jesus. It was another ten years before the next two of them came to
faith. Twenty-five years after he engaged in this pray initiative the fourth friend became a
believer. Then George Muller died. Shortly after his funeral, the fifth person accepted
Christ into his life.
experience the George Muller model is more common in our churches than
the Acts 2 model. Yet the change in the person can be just as encouraging for
those who seek to share faith. I see examples in our own congregational life.
Years ago I began praying for a little five
year old boy. I was sad when I returned to Montreal in 2008 to discover that he
no longer attended church. I renewed my prayers asking the Lord to give him the
desire to return.My desire was for him
to discover God’s love for him.When he
began to show up occasionally, I continued praying.Today, he has found his place as part of our
congregation and contributes to worship through his music.
I think of a middle-aged lady, who
was struggling spiritually because of events in her life.A victim of divorce, with her daughter plagued
by emotional problems, her faith had been shaken.She found herself attending our church.While there, she was able to rebuild her
faith and get back on her feet emotionally and spiritually.Then she left to return to a church in her neighbourhood where she could make a difference in the lives of
others by sharing her faith in practical service in her community.
examples include a young couple who returned battle scarred from Afghanistan.While a part of our fellowship they came to
experience God’s grace in their lives.That grace is healing them and increasing their love for and
understanding of each other.
young adults realize they can rely on God’s grace in the decisions they must
make in the midst of uncertainty and confusion about the future.We see seniors who have found that God is there when they
face losses and parents who are finding that they can trust God to communicate
His love to their children, in spite of their own awkward and sometimes
inappropriate reactions.Among us, immigrants and refugees
have found that whether they are able stay here in Canada or are obliged to
return to their country of origin, their faith in God is nurtured and their
confidence in His provision is strengthened by being a part of this church
fellowship. How we welcome and encourage others in cooperation with God