Last night was the first night of our Community Revival in Cross Hill. It went really well, I thought. Over 135 people showed up, and one of the black Baptist churches was in charge of the preaching and music, and well, they know how to preach their revivals!
Although I think the biggest lesson I learned was from an incident about a minute before the service began. The minister in charge gathered the rest of the pastors and asked us all to take our seats on the stage next to the choir for the service. Well I didn't want to sit on the stage. Actually, I was looking forward to sitting with the congregation and listening to the sermon, something I don't get to do very often. But I begrudgingly went and took my seat on the stage. That's not the way WE do things.
Thankfully, I was almost immediately convicted regarding my pettiness. I almost let something as silly as where I was asked to sit determine my attitude about the value of other churches. Is this not the source of all of our divisions in the church? That we are so focused on our own preferences, be it ever so insignificant an issue, that we would rather split than humble ourselves enough to make room for another person's style?
So while I was theoretically excited about our unity in Christ, I quickly found that in practice it is much more difficult. I get to preach tonight, and no doubt some people will find my style dry and boring. But thankfully we all get four more nights of Community Revival to practice being together. And hopefully with enough practice we can learn that our unity in Christ is more significant than our differences in personality. May it be so.