An African Exhorts an American Church
Pastor Charles from Rwanda preached at my church on Sunday. (Click here to listen to a sermon if you're interested. Once you enter the site, go to resources to download a sermon.)
First, he was shocked - he was given over an hour to preach. He said, "This is not typical for an American church - I usually only get 25 minutes."
Diversion - this is one of the things I love about my church. We are still in the luxurious phase of not having to bow down to worship the clock or our growling stomachs! After a spirit-filled 2 1/2 hour service, half the congregation still hangs out to talk for yet another 1/2 hour or so.
But back to Pastor Charles. He said the church needs 2 good legs to stand on. The Americans - they know the word. They stand on the word. They dissect and divide and preach and talk about the word. "But," he gently said, "You are missing the leg of prayer."
He talked about how the African church is expanding mightily on the wings of prayer - how God is saving souls and is doing miracles, "Because when you literally don't have anything (like daily bread), prayer is everything."
"You don't pray, because you are full. You have everything you need and more."
Exhorting an arrogant Western church takes the greatest of courage and grace. Pastor Charles did that - speaking with grace and truth - and then leading our whole church to their knees in the last 15 minutes - to repent and ask God to give us the word AND prayer so that His kingdom would expand.
It was truly beautiful - I wish we'd have our foreign brothers and sisters come more often to exhort us - we need our Biblical (vs. American) Christianity unmired.