A friend in a touring, singing ministry said, “Don’t know what we left behind (today) but God had something to say through me. He will have to sort it out.” I almost said to him the words I hate to hear: “You just never know what happened.”
Those words always seem like a cop-out. We always debrief our events by asking, “Did anyone get saved? Healed? Rededicate themselves? Someone get called to ministry?” If not, I wondered why not and what we should have done differently. Those things are supposed to happen! If not one of those things, then some other life-enhancing event.
If we prepared adequately, worked at knowing the uniqueness of our audience and worked at a quality performance and prayed through all that, then I expect something to happen. But, you just never….
At the close of a concert-preaching in Vermont or Maine, maybe Connecticut, I gave an altar call. I’m not very good at calling people to the physical altar rail or bench, but I usually feel pleased about calling people to commitment with some expression of decision. No one moved. I don’t think anyone breathed. A lady, who looked to me to be a typical New Englander, told me that I had given a very serious appeal. She said “As serious as it was, I will have to give it consideration and think about it before deciding.” Of course she would! Anything less than calculation of the decision would have contradicted her life-long culture and how seriously she was taking the appeal to take the step toward Jesus. Had she not confronted me, I would have written off the evening as nice, but questionable.
You might just never know….
We got a FB note recently from a New York State lady who was in a Benton concert in 1974. She has been listening to our music for 40 years—is the math right? In a message that put me on the floor, she said “I remember your bus and how your message through song spoke to me—you will never know.” Her husband had just died. She was now a single mom trying to figure out what to do. “I played your records every nite after the children went to bed….”
Even when we get to count and are pleased with the numbers of nickels and noses, we never get to know the whole story. Wow!
That is huge motivation to pray for and find ways to encourage the preachers, teachers, singers, missionaries whose ministries you identify with and those whom God has assigned you to partner with. You just never know.
©2015 D. Dean Benton http://www.bentonministries.com