Pastor Jeremiah Steepek transformed himself into a homeless person and went to the 10,000 member church that he was to be introduced as the head pastor of that morning. He walked around outside the church for 30 minutes as the people began arriving for the morning worship service. While the church folk began arriving for the service, only 3 people out of the 7-10,000 people said hello to him. He asked people for change to buy food – NO ONE in the church gave him anything, not even pocket change. As he entered the sanctuary he went to sit in the front of the church. Immediately the ushers asked him to sit in the back row. He greeted people as they walked by only to receive glaring stares and dirty looks; as though they were better than him.
As he sat in the back of the church; he listened to the church announcements, several songs from the choir and stood to participate in worship. Then the elders went up to introduce the new pastor of the church to the congregation. “We would like to introduce to you Pastor Jeremiah Steepek.” The congregation looked around clapping with joy and anticipation. The homeless man sitting in the back stood up and started walking down the aisle. The clapping stopped with ALL eyes on him. When he got to the altar, he took the microphone from the elders and paused for a moment then he spoke these words of Jesus written in Matthew 25:34-40
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ ‘The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ “
After he recited these words of Jesus, he looked towards the congregation and told them everything he experienced that morning. Many began to cry and many heads bowed in shame. He then said, “Today I see a gathering of people, not a church of Jesus Christ. The world has enough people, but not enough disciples. When will YOU decide to become disciples?” He then dismissed service until next week.
As George Whitefield said “A true faith in Jesus Christ will not suffer us to be idle. No, it is an active, lively, restless principle; it fills the heart, so that it cannot be easy till it is doing something for Jesus Christ.”
Being a Christian is more than something you claim. It’s something you live by and share with others. Are you part of a gathering… or the Church–the Body of Jesus Christ. ♥ Streim
**A dear sister in Christ shared the original story with me. I have edited, revised and adapted it. I don’t know the original author.**