How a Coffee Cup Almost Lost a Soul
Having been an ordained pastor for nearly 30 years, I have had many wonderful experiences in the churches I have served. One that I treasure above the rest involved playing a role in leading a man to Christ and watching him change in front of me. But I almost missed the opportunity because my first response was to reject him rather than convert him. I believe the Holy Spirit stayed my hand so that the Spirit could work on him and bring him to the Truth. Here is how it happened.
The church I served was very new as churches go. The facility was only a month old when I arrived. One of the things we wanted to do was preserve the “newness” and make sure that no food or drink went into the new Worship Center/Sanctuary. The ushers were good at guarding the “room” from violators but the balcony was hard to police. I noticed that a man and woman started attending and each week they would sit in the balcony. He always brought a huge coffee mug with him and would stand during the songs and drink away. During the sermon I could see him gulping down coffee or whatever throughout. At first I was irritated by him and even complained to one of the ushers to tell him to leave his mug outside. The usher said that it was really hard to police the balcony but he would try. Nothing changed and week after week this guy came in with his mug.
One Sunday I looked up in the balcony and did not see him. The next Sunday I did not see him. I began to miss him because he and his mug were there every Sunday prior to that time. I figured he had decided that church was not for him. I looked up for several weeks only to see an empty pew where he and his wife sat. I wondered, “Did we offend them or did someone say something about his coffee mug in church. Now, neither he nor his coffee mug were there. I then began to wonder if I had been wrong to not welcome him and his coffee mug into worship. At least he could hear the Word and maybe the songs and prayers would touch him.
A few weeks passed and one Sunday I looked up and saw him and his wife and his coffee mug in their regular place. They were back and I was excited to see them – and his mug! I made a point to stop them on the way out of the service and let them know that I missed them and was glad to see them back. I even joked about missing seeing his coffee mug. He smiled genuinely and thanked me. They were back the next Sunday and the next.
Every 12 weeks we offered a new members class for prospective members who had been visiting our church. As the next class met for the first time, my coffee mug guy and his wife AND HIS MUG walked into the class. I was pleasantly surprised!
One of the classes was devoted to sharing the Gospel plain and simple. The night I did that, I watched him and I saw him “get it.” His facial expression changed, his eyes literally grew wider and I saw the Holy Spirit come over him and he was converted right there in the class that night. I can still see him to this day. It is the most wonderful feeling in the world to see a person come to Christ. I shutter to think that I almost let a cup of coffee stand between a soul and a Savior.
Don’t hesitate to be a Matthew whenever you get the chance. I want each of you to know the joy of leading someone to Christ. Don’t let anything stand in your way. Be a Matthew and invite someone to Christ. It is the greatest feeling in the world!!
Be a Matthew and share the Hope of Christ – you will never regret it if you do and you will always regret it if you don’t!
From a fellow Matthew,