21 March, 2010

Great, but a bit embarrassing

Today we spoke at a largish Baptist church we've never been to before. We didn't quite know what to expect as we'd received limited information. Primarily we'd been asked to promote a short-term team going from the church to other missionaries in Japan. A tiny bit strange, but nonetheless we faithfully went. We didn't expect a lot, perhaps that's why we were bowled over.

First of all I didn't expect to meet our 7 y.o.'s teacher...who happens to be the senior pastor's wife! Just as we were gearing up to sit down we ran into a family from our 4 y.o.'s school class. Then realised we were sitting in an auditorium of over 200 people (unusual in our experience of deputation).

The next shock was an unexpected success resulting in embarrassment. We only had five minutes to say our thing, but I managed to tack a book promotion onto the end of my bit. We are basically a travelling circus (only slightly tongue-in-cheek) so we tend not to stock many of any book as it is too hard to cart it all around plus organise three boys and all their stuff! Anyway, I think we only had three copies of this book with us and they sold out before I could fight my way through the crowd to our mission stand at the end of the service. Hastily gathering myself, I started compiling a list of those who wanted "that book that you mentioned". Someone even lightly chastised me for not having enough faith that my endorsement would work. Smile.

It wasn't just the books, we had stacks of conversations and ran out of some 'free' brochures as well. I'd set up a separate "origami table" where people were free to do origami. Our kids ended up 'manning' it all alone as we were so busy (I'd put no pressure on them to do so) and were swamped with visitors. What an amazing morning. Our usual deputation appointments are in churches between 50 and 100 people and our usual 'after church' time is a handful of conversations and maybe one book sold.  No wonder we were a little shocked.

We were billed to speak at two services this morning and one this evening. I would have loved to go back this evening with David, but decided in the interests of our boys to keep them at home so they don't start the school week already tired.

Praying that through all the craziness, God's plans for the day were realised. It is a funny thing, deputation. How do you define success? Certainly the best successes (people challenged to be more involved in mission in any way) cannot be measured by book sales or even numbers of conversations.

1 comment:

Anika Qing said...

Our kids ended up 'manning' it all alone...

I bet they had fun!

Sounds like a great time overall.