Through my years at camp, I have made many long lasting friendships. As a camper, one of the new counselors was Dave. He was a pastor at a Methodist church around Indianapolis and got invited to camp. Over two decades later, Dave and I still gladly serve together at camp and in ministry.
After I received my license to exhort last year, Dave invited me to preach at his church near Louisville, KY. It took quite a lot of looking at schedules and planning, but I was able to go this past weekend and preached at Dave's church last Sunday, October 7.
My church denomination is the Christian Reformed Church, or CRC. I'm used to the general routine of services, songs, and preaching style. I wasn't sure how well I would fit in at a different congregation, but knew I could serve God anywhere.
Sunday morning consisted of two services, traditional at 9:00 and contemporary at 11:11. I preached my introductory message I give at most churches talking about God's inspired Word, the moral law, Christ's sacrifice, and spreading the good news of salvation. In doing this, we need to use everything God has given us to serve Him, including wheelchairs and diaphragm pacemakers.
At the conclusion of my message and prayer, the congregation gave me a standing ovation. I can't say I've ever had that in a CRC church, but was glad to see I made an impression. I gave the same message for the second service, but could tell my voice was tired from all the talking. Drinks help, but I'm still not accustomed to adding drink pauses in my messages.
After all the preaching, Dave's wife provided a great lunch for us at church. A couple more friends from camp came to hear me as well and joined us to eat. It has been very rare that I see any of my camp friends in person outside of our volunteer week. The time was nice and I'm glad it worked out.
The trip didn't only include preaching though. Monday included another excursion that I have wanted to do for a couple years. However, that will have to wait until the next entry.