I had my meeting with the Sparta Chief of Police yesterday. He handled the issue of the signs with a matter of fact common sense. He heard me out, understanding my intent, heard my take on my interaction with his police officers and their instructions and then gave me the common sense solution: hold your signs at the park. My first thought was the park on the far side of town, but no he explained that right at the intersection I was standing at is a small city park with a memorial that butts up against the side-walk. What an easy solution. I guess that is why he is the Police Chief.
I then mentioned some difficulties one of our church members was having. He knew her and once again gave the directions on how to handle the situation and as of today her problem has been cleared up.
I then talked of my desire to be more active in evangelism, using the phrase of pushing the envelope. He mentioned the stat that 80% of people who come to church come because someone invites them. I acknowledged this and described our fellowship as one called to evangelism clearly realizing that our efforts might or might not result in the growth of our church, but we were still committed to evangelism happy that it might spur someone to attend a church other than our own.
I talked of our desire to try to reach young people. This touched a soft spot in his heart. I’m not sure how but I am sure he would love to somehow help all of the struggling young people out there. He gave me a conclusion allowing that in exceptional cases a young person can be helped through a church, a mentor taking interest in them or a specific teacher but in most cases the atmosphere of the home dictates the outcome. I believe he said this from a heart that has tried often to overturn this natural outcome.
This is why we need a revival that compares to “The Great Awakenings” of our past history. We had one before the Revolutionary War and another before the Civil War. A revival that would not just touch one young person and try to help them break free from the chains imposed by the environment at home, but a revival that sweeps up the whole household.
Dreamin in Sparta!
The Chief has a heart.