I got a call a few weeks ago from the organizers of the Church Army's 7th annual Faith Promise Banquet. They needed someone to come speak or M.C., and I responded instantly, "Whatever you guys need, I'll be there."
The Church Army in Branson Missouri is one of the coolest ministries happening in the country. It's a faith based 12 step program for former addicts, prostitutes, convicts, and transient people. They have developed a community that looks a lot like the Kingdom is going to look when we are all reconciled to God and each other.
So tonight I went to M.C. the banquet.
There were 520 people, all from different backgrounds, most former addicts, and I was deeply moved by the testimonies from the people I sat with. Years of drug addiction, running from the law, cooking up meth, and being delinquents in society, somehow brought this incredible group of people under the banner of Jesus.
I wept when a Father stood with his daughter and apologized for all the years he chased drugs.
I was moved when a son and and mother were reconciled after years of running from the authorities.
I couldn't hold back the tears when I sat and listened to a mother and a daughter, both who used to be hard core users, tell each other they loved each other now because of the love of Christ.
If anyone in the world is doing Christianity like I think Jesus would do it, it's these guys, and I'm proud to call them friends.
The power of the Kingdom of God can overcome even the strangest stereotypes we all put on people. People that only need to hear, "I love you and I'm proud of you."
My heart is full tonight, and my spirit is encouraged.
May we all be a people who reach out to those in need in the name of Jesus.
Way to go guys. Keep up the good work.