My friend Josh is pastor of a church in Monrovia, California. It’s a new church, planted because of an encounter with God. Josh tells the story this way:
“I was a youth pastor at a church near Monrovia. Each Wednesday I would spend the morning with my family, then head out past Monrovia, where we lived, to the church to do the Wednesday night Bible study. I usually stopped at a coffee shop to put the finishing touches on my teaching for that evening.”
“One afternoon at the coffee shop, I had prepared the study, but then changed my mind and turned to Micah 6:8, “…And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
“So, I get up to get a refill and a guy in line confronts me. He introduces himself and says he knows my mother, and other members of my family. I am clueless, so I ask him, ‘Do you know them from church?’ To which he laughs, and replies, ‘Church…that’s the biggest waste of time I know.’
“So I ask him, ‘Why do you say that?’ and he shrugs and replies, ‘Do you know Micah 6? I would be interested in a church that lived out Micah 6.’
From that encounter and a lot of prayer and discussion, Josh and his wife planted a church with Micah 6 as their identifying scripture. Attendance now exceeds 80, and Josh’s friend from the coffee shop is interested. Recently the church raised about $10,000 to build a well in Darfur. Josh’s coffee buddy contributed and was really excited about the project. He hasn’t been to church yet, but he and Josh talk over coffee regularly.
Josh listened to both a new friend and God. The result is a new church — a missional church — and a friend who sees that churches do “act justly and love mercy and walk humbly with God.” What better witness is there?