Monday, August 1, 2011

Last Sunday

A week ago today, I attended the Mejicanos Tabernaculo Biblico Bautista where they have 1000 people in the early service and another 1000 in the second service and only two people on staff. If you were to ask the pastor how does he handle all the issues that arise pasturing this size flock, he will tell you the only problem he has is people in his church not wanting to share their volunteer roles. Did you get that? There are people who stand outside the restroom doors to pass out toilet paper –they have to share that volunteer role. There are people who love on babies, kids and youth in both services, and they have enough servants to change out ever service and repeat only once every four to six weeks. There are ushers and greeters at every square section of seating in the sanctuary – volunteers stand at every corner until the preaching starts. Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on Acts 11 says, “True Christians will feel for their brethren under afflictions. Thus will fruit be brought forth to the praise and glory of God. If all mankind were true Christians, how cheerfully would they help one another! The whole earth would be like one large family, every member of which would strive to be dutiful and kind.” WOW! If we all behaved like the children of God we were called and created to be…wonder what the church would be like…wonder what my city would look like…wonder what state our government would be in…I wonder.

It’s an amazing church…not just because of their understanding that Christians are to serve, but also for this story I’m about to write. MS 13 is a notorious gang in El Salvador. A gang member who crosses into the US, does a heinous crime, goes to federal prison and then is deported back to El Salvador is considered a god in this gang. One such member moved up in the ranks upon his return and ordered that the gang take two city busses and kill those on them. On one city bus they entered with their AKs and shot and killed 15 people. The other bus was sealed – all windows and doors – and then they set it on fire. The leader was caught and sent to jail. This happened in close proximity to the Mejicano church. The members had friends and family on those buses. (You can read more at and

Here’s the rest of the story. The parents of the leader of the MS 13 that called for those attacks went to the Mejicanos church after this happened. What would happen in your church if this happened here in the US? Being the good Christians we are, I doubt they would feel most welcomed in our churches. But in truth, this church became the hands and feet of Christ to this mother and father. They accepted them into their church and invited them to meet their Savior which they did. Turning the other cheek to the extreme!

Churches in America are filled with fat, lazy, baby Christians. We go to church daring anyone on stage to entertain us. Bless us if you can. Many “Christians” can’t or won’t do their own Bible studies and don’t even attempt it much less ask for help. They would rather be spoon-fed. The problem with being a spoon-fed Christian is that you don’t always know what’s being served for you to eat…Is it possum or crow? Or is it the Bread of Life?

I was convicted by what I saw in this New Testament church in El Salvador, by what I heard, and by what I saw. I repented. “While men are very zealous for their own regulations, they should take care that they do not withstand God; and those who love the Lord will glorify him, when made sure that he has given repentance to life to any fellow-sinners. Repentance is God's gift; not only his free grace accepts it, but his mighty grace works it in us, grace takes away the heart of stone, and gives us a heart of flesh. The sacrifice of God is a broken spirit” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on Acts 11). I don’t want to stand in the way of God (Acts 11:17) or His working. I want to be all up in it whenever possible.

I wish I could have taken you with me on this mission trip. I went to love on kids, do block parties and door-to-door evangelism, but instead, I was blessed beyond measure. I was convicted, and I repented. I am thankful that God found me worthy to be a part of this experience. His grace is not without its effect on me.

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