When you have multiple services at your church on one weekend, it is always nice to have some variety. (Not just in the schedule, but also in the spiritual realm.) If you are looking for one person to bring all that you are looking for in uniqueness, I am not sure you could find anyone better than John Ragsdale. When considering guest ministers, a pastor must insure that the guest will support and embolden the vision and method that flows already. If nothing is flowing, then the guest is needed to breakthrough the wall so flow starts. The pastor is responsible for making sure the guest is the one to do either of these things. I must be extremely protective of the vision in one sense and once I find the right person, be extremely open to whatever he or she is ready to do.
To date, we have had only one guest minister that we will not have back. He did not operate in the way we flow. Does that mean he is a bad guy or that he is immoral? Of course not, he would fit in great in his environment. (You probably won’t guess who this is, he only came once and it was a while back 🙂
Before anyone comes, I must pray and seek God if the person is right for the time. Does the minister come highly recommended by my peers? What will it cost for travel, lodging, and honorarium? Nothing good comes without a cost, right?
This past weekend John Ragsdale came to San Marcos and as usual I said, “John, do whatever you want.” I trust his anointing and skill. He is a craftsman at bringing the power of God and joining it with the skill and faith of man. As he would say, “a convergence of Heaven and Earth.” He also told me that when he goes some places, the pastor does not release him with the same liberty as we do. To me, that is like seeing a lion at a zoo. You think, ‘wow, what great big muscles and large paws. That lion walks around like he owns the place.’ However, if you were on an African safari, you would see the lion in a totally different enivornment. You would not only see the great muscles and paws, but you would see them for what they are naturally intended.
When you hem in Rags, you are taming a lion. Let the minister be who God intended for him or her to be. If that is too risky, then find someone that fits in the range in which you are looking.
Saturday night, during the worship I was not feeling well at all (physically or spiritually). However, at the end of the service, I started walking to the altar with my hands raised. He had not called anyone to the front for an official altar call, but I felt the urge to go. I took one step and thought, “I am the only one going. This will look weird. What if I am the only one and people think I am weird.” However, I kept taking steps and by the time I arrived at the steps of the platform, I had experienced a spiritual awakening. I believe it was the literal decision I made to overcome the thoughts of self-doubt that opened the door for my healing. Thank God, I made that decision. Of course, we can’t expect the same deliverance from a source other than God. We have to be approaching or walking toward God for the true relief to come.
What a priveledge I have to attend a church where God’s presence is made available. Monday morning, I popped the 11 o’clock service DVD into my laptop and watched the sermon. I wanted to see how it was presented (by me). Usually, this is torture. However, as I watched the service, I started listening to the message instead of the speaker. It was amazing how God spoke to me through my own words and it was if I was hearing it for the first time!