Friday, March 28, 2008
A Sweeping Servant
Our church hosted a concert of Avalon, Michael English and a couple lesser known groups. We would be classified as 'large', with weekend attendance usually around 1500. Concerts usually draw those who aren't members or regular attenders, and they can be spotted pretty quickly. They're the ones walking around with their mouths hanging open, because we have what any larger church would have, but theirs dont: a library, a bookstore, a cafe, a big worship center, and it's all pretty new, with beautiful colors of wine and deep green and kiwi, areas to hang out at high coffee tables, or scattered occasional chairs or sofas. Screens in the lobby showing worship warming up, and the time til we start is ticking down.

The parking lot nearest the worship center was pretty packed last night, so we parked near the old entrance. As we headed down the hall, which went by the library, the bookstore and the cafe, the people in front of us were oohing and aahing, slowing down to poke their heads in the rooms and check out areas. Obviously, they were not from our church.

Anyone working the concert had on a burgundy t-shirt with an I.D. around their neck, giving them access to all areas of the building. As we passed the cafe, where iced caramel macchiatas were being passed out, there was a man wearing a grey t-shirt and jeans, sweeping floor debris into a dustpan. He looked up and smiled as we all walked by. Recognizing him, Don and I yelled out, "hey Ron!" He smiled and said hello to everyone as we walked by.

What the people in front of us didn't know was that "Ron" is our Senior Pastor. He's been at our church for almost 20 years, and taken the church from meeting at a high school with about 200 people to where we are now. Some might ask, "if your church is running efficiently, why was your Sr. Pastor sweeping?" And I don't know - I don't know if he just saw some dirt on the floor and grabbed the broom, or if he was volunteering last night in an unusual way. We certainly have a large maintenance staff, so I doubt he switched positions.

The concert was fabulous, Avalon did a great job, and I stood and cried as Michael English gave one of the most moving testimonies I've ever heard. I could not have asked for a better concert experience. In a month we're hosting Aaron Shust and I can't wait to hear him too. Concerts fade together, I'll forget much of last night's experience. I think, for years to come, I'll remember catching a glimpse of the leader of our church with a broom and a dustpan in his hands. You just never know when you might encourage someone greatly by doing the most basic of tasks, rocking a fussy baby so a mom can stay in worship, or teaching two year olds in Sunday School, or passing out snacks at VBS, or chaperoning a youth group retreat, or handing out bulletins, or whatever. Someone might be watching, and they might be blessed to see you or me serve straight from the heart. I sure was.


  posted at 3:29 PM

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