The Day of Small Things – Part I

October 14, 2012

Prayer, Vision / Leadership

Just over two weeks ago, I was in a football (soccer) stadium in Cali, Columbia surrounded by approximately 35,000 people. That Friday night included a lot of laughter, great music and a testimony of God’s grace which ended with over 2,000 deciding to follow Jesus as their savior. During one of the last songs, I almost started crying as I recalled the story of the House of Prayer Church of the Nazarene in Cali that hosted this event. I thought of the years when they averaged less than 40 people and out of desperation their pastor and his wife started a prayer meeting with only five people. A year later, the prayer meeting was down to only three people (two of which were the pastor and wife). But they didn’t stop praying or working for the kingdom and believing that God wanted to do something in their city and in their church. And now, years later, I had just seen that same pastoral team, Pastors Adalberto and Nineye Herrera, welcome a stadium full of people to a city-wide outreach event hosted by their church, which is now the largest Church of the Nazarene in the world.

Today their church has over 1,000 people who gather for prayer from 4 AM until 7 AM every Tuesday morning. Between 4-6 thousand participate in their three Wednesday prayer and fasting services.  Approximately 12,000 come through their doors during their six services each Sunday. There are hundreds of small home groups and cell service meetings across the city. Over two thousand are committed to weekly discipleship making. Their goal is that every believer will be a leader, disciple maker and pastor a group in their home. They pray for their city and country leaders. They actively assist the poor. Their worship rocks but it’s not just noise.  It’s hard to keep quiet when God is transforming your life, as well as the lives of those around you and your community.  My Nazarene friends in Cali seek to live the gospel daily. I was and continued to be inspired by the dedication and the passion of their young people.

So that Friday night as I looked around me as thousands sang praises to God, I thought of those days when three people would gather faithfully to pray in their small Nazarene church refusing to give up on the God given dream for their church and their city.  And that’s when my eyes started to water.

I don’t know about you, you may be much stronger than me, but I find that it’s often easy to give up during those dry  seasons when little seems to be happening. It’s easy to give up even on the best and most Godly of dreams.

The Cali church reminds me that if God is in it, then I had better keep praying, keep believing and keep working.

Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth.  Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.”    Mark 4:30-32

Do NOT despise the day of small things…”      Zechariah 4:10

Are you close to giving up on something good and of God because of small beginnings?

How have you seen the long term effects of intentional prayer on your life and ministry?

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