When I was young the denominational missionary magazine was entitled “Other Sheep” which is taken from the words of Jesus John 10: 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father, and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.
Today I find myself 1000 miles from where I live at least for the next couple of months. Susanne had surgery at a cancer center near where we will live in Florida. She is recuperating and gets a little better each day. In a few days, we travel back home. This morning after having breakfast and reading Scripture and from a devotional book, with Susanne’s permission I decided to visit a local church for worship. She watched a couple of services online and I decided to go to a local church. The one thing that was important is that it had to be close so that I could get back and not leave her alone for very long.
My wife and I have attended the same kind of church all of our lives. My post-high school degrees have been from colleges of my tribe. I have worked for the global ministry center and am now a District Superintendent with the same group. Talk about being a “one-trick pony”. The Church of the Nazarene is all I know!
I went to a church that was of a different variety, not too far removed, and doctrinally similar but some differences. I wanted to go to a live worship service and I wanted to be close by the house. I looked on the internet and figured this was the one to try. I decided to spend an hour hanging out with some of the other sheep!
- The worship was fairly similiar to what I experience weekly.
- The demographics were nearly the same as the churches I oversee.
- My church does not have a corner on smaller congregations.
- They were friendly (it is hard to hide with less than 100 in attendance)
- The people was sincere. From the announcements, music and general warmth extended.
- The pastor preached an excellent message. I would have been thrilled to hear her sermon in any of our churches!
- There is more good going on than I usually recognize
- There really are other sheep! I mean there really are!
- The pastor lives in the same subdivision we do!
- She told me she learned to play the guitar in one of our churches in her country!
- I actually worshipped, and please don’t spread this around, I really truly enjoyed myself.
Okay, Blake what is your point?
If we are going to make a difference in our nation today, we need a more united front and we should look for ways to cooperate with other beleivers. I am thankful for brother and sisters in other churches and for their faithful witness. Today I worshipped in a facility that many faithful people down through the years made possible. l listened to pastor who answered the call and prepared and is now serving God through this local church. Today I was a one of the other sheep who was made to feel welcome and was minstered to and I today I received a definte blessing from God. Though I am in church and board meetings a lot, today I needed to worship and to be ministered to by others. It was just what I needed. Remember every week someone may walk in and need just exactly what the Lord has laid on your heart. Be encouraged! God is using you!