While sorting through the bundle of mail pieces last week, I came across a church advertisement from my sister’s church in Southwest Detroit. Occasionally I would receive something from Triumph Church mainly because I financially supported the ministry and believe a movement of God is stirring the souls of Detroiters. In the booklet of scheduled summer performances and worship themes, I came across a month-long sermon series for July entitled “The Church Has Left the Building” – REAL Ministry is Done Outside the Building. For my readers who are from the Millennial age, you may not get the gist of that statement; allow me to explain.
The tag line “The Church Has Left the Building” is a cliché used when the late American singer and cultural icon Elvis Presley departed the stage after performing before a live audience. Because he became so widely popular back in the 70s – concerts goers wouldn’t accept the idea that he was done with his scheduled performances. They would look for more of him – wondering if he would reappear from backstage to do another encore song. Usually after a few minutes, an announcer would signal a statement over the P.A. systems – “Ladies and Gentlemen, Elvis has left the Building!” The statement of course is to inform everyone to go ahead and leave the facility.
So much for the cliché…now back to what I wanted to write about!
Instantly I assumed where Sr. Pastor Solomon Kinloch might be heading with this series – it has the interpretation of being loaded with commissioned based teachings. This incredible minister of the Gospel has an expressionistic way to elevate God’s word to provoke you to ‘go and do!’ This series is scheduled to be delivered for the month of July – great timing for people to hear, decide and be challenged to do!
As I wait to hear more about this series, I reflect on the many other ‘go and do’ opportunities that are available during the summer. One of my mission trips will include Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Last year, we took a small team to the country and make assessment on whether we join another mission ministry there. Here is a small piece of my personal journal of Haiti last year:
The mission focus last year was more of an assessment trip – to see if we would begin a partnership with an existing ministry already on the grounds of Port-au-Prince. Christian Revival Center’s “Mission 2 Haiti” ministry was led by Pastor Freddie Hebron of Savannah, Georgia. A gifted African-American Pastor who spent the last 17 years traveling to Haiti, greeted us at his mission home. Pastor Hebron was there in January, 2010 when the earthquake struck the city.
He has established a network of pastors to work together in the core region of Port-au-Prince – some 25 pastors in all! The mission was and still is to build more schools for underprivileged children. He took us through several poverty-stricken communities. Once we left the country, our mission team prayed about the opportunity, began to share our collected notes, voiced our thoughts and prepared to join his effort this summer.
And while we welcomed the New Year with great enthusiasm, God had another plan for Pastor Hebron. The third weekend in January, he traveled back to the states from begin in Haiti for two weeks (a late Saturday night arrival). Given that he was tired from the travels, he managed to deliver a sermon the following day at this church. Later that evening, he said to his wife “I’m not feeling well, I’m going to bed.” He died in his sleep…
Our Haiti team traveled to Savannah a week later to join others in the home-going. Many church ministries both local in Savannah and churches as far as Mississippi came to support the family. There was a feeling of uncertainty as people wondered if the Mission 2 Haiti will go forward. For seventeen years, Pastor Hebron pretty much did ‘everything’ in Haiti; there was obviously no “second-in-command” person to take over the mission. His wife of almost 25 years stayed devoted in their community food-bank in Savannah. The couple has four adult girls who had their own careers beyond the church ministry. NEVER-THE-LESS, the spirit was so high during the celebration service – the empowerment of God presence told everyone that we must move on! The atmosphere was so evident to go forth and continue what Pastor Hebron worked on.
God willing, we are planning to return to the “Pearl of the Caribbean.” In the next two weeks, we’ll be confirming our team and begin training. I’ve been praying that you would be joining us this year. I know your heart is to reach the lost and teach the found. The people of Haiti need our help – I’m asking you to consider this wonderful opportunity to spread your love to others.
Let go people and do some good!