I am often reminded that in ministry, when you put yourself out there on the streets among those who are not Christians, it is sometimes hard to see God working in people’s lives. Sometimes you see the devil prowling around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5). And that first part of 1 Peter 5 reminds us to be sober minded and watchful.
We had an outreach for Halloween this year. We decided that we wanted to present something a little more positive to the neighborhood than the ghouls, zombies, skeletons and ghosts that have sprung up around us. It is odd how much people decorate their homes in St. Louis for Halloween! So, we had a party at our building, which began with a potluck for the congregation and our friends, and then we opened up the “coffee house” to the neighborhood for free coffee, hot chocolate, cider, popcorn and candy. We also handed out little Halloween gospel tracts, and information about the church.
It was really a great night! We had several people come in and visit for quite a while with members of the ministry here, and a number of people asking for more information about the church. We had bunches of kids and their parents in the building and gave away lots of goodies. And we had a lot of conversations about Jesus, and everyone in the congregation and with the ministry was encouraged. But when all was said and done, my naivete threatened to spoil the whole evening, because after a particularly large group of “kids” (mostly teenagers) and their parents were in the building, my digital camera had been stolen. I was taking pictures throughout the evening and left it sitting where I could get to it easily, failing to realize that so could someone else.
It would have been too easy to get upset, disappointed or just plain mad, but to the credit of those here, we refused to be daunted. We prayed for the person who took the camera, prayed for me who had lost a bunch of pictures and the video of my granddaughter’s first ballet recital (whatever you do, download your pictures often!), and got a good lesson in spiritual warfare. As someone said, “we must be doing good stuff if the devil is getting involved.” So be bold and undaunted with the Gospel, but be sober minded and watchful too. And remember, God is always in control. Be blessed and be well.