"No they're not here. No they're not here. No they're not here." This is the response that the folks at Grace Temple Baptist Church of Dallas received as they walked down 10th St. on a hot summer day. They were looking for the apartment managers of the many apartment buildings located on their street. Finally, when they arrived at the very last building, someone was willing to talk with them.
Grace Temple has a dynamic AWANA Program, which reaches dozens of children each week. They desired to expand this program into the apartments on the same street as their church. They begin to pray and ask God to allow that to happen. The church members wanted to share the scriptures which children learn through AWANA brought to those apartments, because they realized they could reach more people if they were willing to take AWANA beyond the walls of their church.
They were willing and on that last apartment the faithful members found the person responsible for managing all of the apartments they had previously visited. God was working that day. Pastor Marco Castillo knew God was going to do something, it just took getting to the end of 10th Street to figure this out.
Four important lessons are learned from this story:
- Pray. Don't just pray a little bit, but pray a lot. Pray for things you cannot even see at the present moment. Pray for God to do what only He can do, and when you think you have prayed enough, pray some more. Lead your church through a guide for prayer, not only praying for the sick, but praying for the church and for the Kingdom to be expanded.
- Start searching. Once you have prayed you are at a key place to begin to see God work. Begin looking for ways your church can be a blessing to the community. It may be to start an AWANA program into an apartment complex, it may be to start a Bible study in a home or it may be to start a church in a park, but when you begin to look God will show you.
- Start something new. Begin the new work, yes it will probably be small at first, but get it started. God is big enough to handle the resources and bring the volunteers you simply get started.
- Be prepared for the results. Now this is important because people are probably going to be reached through this, make sure your church is ready for those folks, make sure they are ready to pull people into their circles.