This past weekend was a great learning experience for me. The trailer park was a busy place from Friday to Sunday. On Friday we had a youth group from a church close by come and do a block party with a bible study for the kids. On Saturday we started our first weekly soccer game for the Hispanic community, and on Sunday we had another block party where I preached a short evangelistic message outside (that was a new thing for me). With all of those things going on this weekend, it was difficult not to ask the question; “What if no one shows up?”
On Friday the block party was supposed to start at 1:30. By 2:00 the bounce houses were just getting inflated, and the youth group had just arrived. To top it all off, I had not yet gone and gotten the ice for the snowball machine or drinks. When I got in the car to go and get the ice, there was a total of about 5 kids from the community there and they were the ones that always show up, and two of which were from our church. As I was driving in the car by myself, frustrated that I had not gotten everything ready in time I asked: “Oh God, what if no one shows up?”
Saturday I was supposed to have the soccer game started at 5pm. By 5:45 my children and I were the only ones there. The goals were set up and we were getting tired of kicking the ball around, then I asked the question: “Oh God, what if no one shows up?”
Sunday when the block party started I noticed that the only people who were there were kids and people from the church. I knew I was to preach and I started to say: “I won’t preach if no one shows up.”
Why do we do these kinds of things? Do we do them in order to “win converts”? You can answer this many ways, but I think it boils down to showing the love of Christ and making disciples of the nations. That is not really what I am asking, what I am asking is why do we do the specific things that we do in order to build those relationships. Some call these things a “vision” or “strategy” for reaching the community. Ultimately, I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t say that they came to these ideas through prayer and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
If this is the case, what if no one shows up? Will it be a failure? I have to conclude not, because if it was, in fact, God who told me to do these things, then the success is in the doing. It isn’t who shows, how many show, or if any show, but that I did. God asked me to obey without question, not to worry about what He will do with it. He is in control, and the fact that I do what He asks me to do is in itself a victory. I trust that He will build His church and that no one or nothing will be able to stop Him. So when He tells me to preach outside on Sunday evening, I shall preach, whether it be to the stray dogs or to thousands in attendance, it is done for God’s glory not mine and not yours. I do not do to make you happy, nor do I do to make myself happy, I do because my Lord has commanded me to. If he decides that no one will hear me preach that day, or no one will eat what I cook, then let it be, but it is my act of worship to the All Mighty King and may He for ever be glorified and honored.
So I ask you, what if no one shows?