Pocket Full of Change Ministries

This blog needed a name. Somehow, Divine Encounters While Living In a Hotel didn’t work. Besides, the Bible word for hotel is Inn. I asked Facebook friends for help. I narrowed 40 amazing suggestions to 7 and gave it back to Facebook for a vote. INNCounters, submitted by my best friend, Nancy Edwards, won by a landslide. Join the INNCounters God sends my way.

Friday, September 28, 2012

INNCounters – In Heavenly Places

By Cheryle M. Touchton
Director – Pocket Full of Change Ministries

To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord. KJV Eph 3:10-11

I enjoy evangelizing in the hotel where I live because it also means I have the opportunity to invite people to my church. Many staying there are living in State College for months at a time doing temporary work or moving there and living in the Inn while they seek housing that is more permanent. A good church is the closest I can get to heaven while I’m still here on earth and I want the people to whom I minister to experience that. I have heard enough church horror stories during my travels across America to also believe that a bad church is like being in hell on earth. So far, every INNCounter who has visited Calvary has wanted to return. My favorite part about taking people to church is that since the Bible says church reveals God’s plan in the Heavenly Places, I feel as if I am having INNCounters with the principalities and powers in the Heavenly Places.

As wonderful as my church is, I still resist the temptation to use church invitations as a short cut to the uncomfortable work of evangelism. When I was a little girl in the fifties, the easiest way to evangelize was to invite people to church. People appreciated an invitation to church and often came when invited. Most churches made sure that if members got people in the door, our guests would hear the Gospel preached and wouldn’t leave without learning how to meet Jesus. Year 2012 is a different world. The public is more cynical about church and it is difficult to get unsaved people into church. Also - it is entirely possible that if they do visit church, they will leave without ever learning how to begin a walk with Jesus. For me, taking people to church is like the proverbial “icing on the cake.” To be clear about the metaphor, icing (going to church) is the sweet part but useless without the cake itself (meeting Jesus.)

I do like the icing though. Worshiping next to someone severely damaged by the church and watching them cry through the praise and worship, take notes during the sermon, and put money in the offering plate is thrilling. Hearing the words, “I can’t wait until next Sunday,” and “This prepares me for the entire week,” is the impact the true Bride of Christ should have and makes me appreciate my church more. Seeing the people I bring to church bring others is how ministry ought to work and demonstrates to me the continuous love of Jesus flowing from one person to another. Bringing people into eternal fellowship with Christ and His followers must be the “eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord” and being a part of God revealing His will in Heavenly Places through church is not an experience anyone would want to miss. I love Jesus and my church and sharing both.

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