|True Tales Of The Everglade Evangelist
A Pastor is usually not invited to a party at one of his members where they are having a bunch of their local friends over. Where beer, wine and mix drinks are served. The member is afraid the pastor may be overbearing and promote the church. Or people might not be able to be themselves if they know a pastor is in attendance.
Anyway, Leroy and Jane were having a party. It was Leroy's retirement party from Coca Cola. They invited my wife and me to the party. I like to mingle at parties and talk to as many people as possible. I don't tell people I am a pastor. I talk about anything that may be the topic of discussion. I don't talk about the church.
Anyway, I started talking to a guy named Scott. I asked where he grew up. He told me, Saginaw, Michigan. He went to Arthur Hill. He asked me where I grew up. I told him, you aren't going to believe this, but Saginaw. I went to Michigan Lutheran Seminary. Scott asked me what my dad and mom did for a living. I told him my dad was in real estate and insurance and my mom was a school teacher. I told him she taught at some pretty rough schools in Saginaw. Jesse Rouse, South, Kempton, etc. Scott said, "I went to South. Was your mother Gertrude Schulz? Did you have a brother who died of Leukemia"? I was shocked. Scott said, "Your mother was my 4th grade teacher at South Elementary." Amazing. I told Scott I was a pastor and if he ever wanted to stop by at Open Bible to please do so. There must have been a reason for our meeting.
The story gets better. At the same party I talked to a Ralph and Pat Omness who were also from Saginaw, Michigan. They have just moved down to the Villages. I vaguely remember that Ralph knew my brother Bert. Ralph said to me, "Your brother Bert and I in 7th grade went on our bikes and stopped at the homes of people to see if they had any old electronic equipment that they wanted to throw out. Your mom wouldn't give your brother any money for ham radio equipment. Neither would my parents. So we had to get old equipment, sell it, or use it in some way. Ralph and Pat told me they plan to transfer from St. Paul's in Saginaw to Open Bible. Who would ever think that I would run into my brother's boyhood friend at this party?
Finally, I talked to a couple named Kirk and Linda House. We talked about general things. Kirk then asked me what I did for a living. I told him, if I tell you, you won't change and be uncomfortable. He said, "No way." Told them I was a pastor, name of church, and where it was located. Kirk said, "We've been looking for a church for a long time. Usually either, the message of the pastor is great and the music is bad, or the music is great and the message of the pastor is lousy."
Kirk told me he loves working with worship software. I told him we are planning a blended service this winter on Saturdays at 4:00 P.M. I felt badly because I can never hope to have a band for musicians. That it would just be electronic music using a screen in our fellowship hall. Kirk said, "Pastor, you don't need a band. I don't like the smoke and lights of these bands today. Too much show and entertainment. What you need is a single guitar player, a good message, and up-to-date Christian music. That is what this generation wants."
I told Kirk if he wanted to listen to my sermon on 103.5 FM on Sundays from 11:05-11:30, he could hear a few good songs, and a nice message. He said, "Pastor, Linda and I are going to stop in and worship one Sunday soon."
Go Open Bible!