Last night at Above All, we were honored to have former President Bill Clinton join us in the congregation. It is always an honor when special guests visit us (we've had several politicians and statesmen come, including Governor Edwards). However, there is something special about having one of the men who has led our country join us. We thank him for taking time to come to Above All and hope he takes the message of Above All to those he might influence. Now, on to the recap.
It would have been easy to get distracted with such a high profile visitor, but our cast was undeterred. Our purpose is not to impress but to inspire and convict. A great snapshot of this was when the former President showed up to greet the cast. We were in the middle of our prayer and everyone was so focused on seeking God, the ruler of our hearts, minds and lives, that most did not even notice he had shown up. It took nearly a minute for him to get to address us because we were so locked in on connecting with God. This was not meant to disrespect the former President, but an indication of how much we are really invested in what we do. Even leaders of the world (former or current) must wait on the Lord to do his work first. The President complimented us on our commitment to God, showing his understanding of what we're all about.
An Audience that Convicts
When I'm backstage, the Apostles regularly check the TVs to see where and when we should be ready to come back out. Last night, we stood and saw as the cameras panned the audience during scenes. The video crew caught people in tears in multiple scenes. Even while out on stage, I could feel the audience's hunger for Jesus. In To Whom Shall We Go, I glanced the audience and every head was craned towards Jesus as He spoke his lines. In Miracles, people were shouting and clapping for every healing. What got me most was watching the screen during The Procession scene. I noticed several people doubled over in agony in the audience. They were weeping just as strongly as the Lovers in the scene. It was so convicting to me and I couldn't wait to get out there and pray with them.
One girl I prayed for was ready as soon as she walked forward. All I had to do was say a few words and lay hands on her and she spake with new tongues. Another woman was in tears as I spoke blessings into her lives. People are ready to hear that Jesus is ready to do the work in their lives. They receive it as soon as you pray over them.
Another person I saw in the altar was a friend of mine from our Sunday School class. He's been going through a rough time and came in need of a fresh start. Seeing him weep in the altar before Christ was so refreshing. Getting to talk with him afterwards was even more encouraging. He committed himself to taking the right steps to get the fresh start that Christ desires for him.
Finally, I met a youth group that drove 4 hours from Mississippi just to watch our production. I chatted with their Youth Pastor and he was blown away with what we had accomplished. He had come to Messiah many years ago and said that it was awesome, but Above All blew him away. His young people all came down to the altar and were blessed. I could tell that some of these young people had a lot of faith and were capable of doing great things. What if Above All inspires them to do it? That's what we're doing. Inspiring and convicting people to pursue Christ and His purpose for their lives is our goal. Last night, I could feel that we accomplished it.
Chris Farris is the author of The Way, a manual detailing how to implement the Beatitudes into your life. He review events and other media and offers other insights into writing and working for the Kingdom of God.