I attend a church that has about 12,000 members. There are tons of pastors at the church, and all do very well when they share God’s word. But I’ll tell you, besides the Senior Pastor, Don Wilson, I really enjoy Dennis Bloodworth‘s lectures.
One of his lectures had a story in it about showing God’s love to everyone, no matter their station, really sunk in for me. Here’s the story:
Dennis was a new Youth Pastor at a church in a tiny town in Kansas.
The 9am, youth group had 15-20 kids one morning, which was larger than usual.
Two kids came in about 15 minutes late. They took their coats off and Dennis saw they were covered in something…they didn’t smell very nice.
Now, he didn’t know these two kids yet, but he welcomed them but since the group was larger than normal he had to run up and make more copies of the materials. He had them come in and start on an activity while he ran upstairs.
10 minutes later, back down, but the two kids that had come in late were gone.
Dennis asked his assistant, “Where’d they go?’
“I sent them home,” she answered.
“Well, they stunk. And they weren’t very clean so I told them to go home and clean up and come back again some time.”
Dennis ran upstairs and looked around, trying to find them, but they were gone.
Next weekend Dennis found out where the kids lived and drove to their house, which was about 2 miles outside of town.
He knocked on door.
One of the kids answered.
Dennis apologized for the previous weekend and asked if they’d come back to try again.
Boys said no and told Dennis what had gone through to get to church last Sunday:
Their dad isn’t a believer, but they asked dad if they could go and try the church since there was a new youth pastor, they wanted to check it out.
Dad said okay, but they had to first get your chores done.
They lived on a pig farm.
So, the two boys got up with flashlights at 4am and did all their chores. They asked to take the farm truck into town, but the dad said no. They’d have to walk if they wanted to go to church so badly.
Their Mom died earlier that year. They had only the farm truck. They were very low on money.
After doing chores the kids walked two miles on a cold, Kansas, winter morning to the church.
They arrived a few minutes late and were glad to be in the warmth of the church only to be told to go home and clean up.
The boys never went to that church again.
Dennis summed up that story by saying (I’m summarizing):
These kids were dying to see Jesus, and they showed up to church to find Him, but that’s not what they found. If we want to show the world Jesus, WE must show it, no matter what the circumstances.