I received a phone call yesterday from a representative of Roanoke Bible College in Elizabeth City, NC. Patti took the call, expecting a request to come and speak to our teens about attending their school. Yet, the request we received was quite different.
It seems that Standard Publishing is conducting a regional seminar on RBC's campus entitled, Energizing Smaller Churches. It is an equipping opportunity for church leaders in the eastern US who serve churches with 200 or fewer in attendance. It seems that those putting together this seminar have "heard about how God is working at Community" and wanted to invite me to be a presenter.
My first reaction, after hanging up the phone was to laugh out loud. I appreciate the invite, but I think their vetting process needs some work. The reality is, if I actually felt like I had anything to offer (i.e., knew what I was doing), I might accept. But most weeks it feels more like God is doing His thing, and I'm just trying to keep up or, more accurately, stay out of His way. That's not a bad place to be but I'm just not sure that's the "how-to" stuff they are looking for.
Then it hit me... "the way outsiders view Community is changing." These people didn't know me from Adam, but they had heard what God was doing in this church. That brought a smile to my face. God is working, people are noticing the transformation, and God is being praised. That is the vision of our church - individually and collectively. During the smile-fest, God reminded me of something Paul said to the Christians in Rome: "Let me say first of all that your faith in God is becoming known..." Romans 1:8. Very, very cool.
Pray for wisdom as I decide what to do with this invitation. I don't really need another thing to do. Yet, if this is an opportunity to glorify God by talking about how He is working in our church and, at the same time, a chance to encourage the hearts of other leaders, it might be a very good thing.