Last of Three PartsA reprint of the three articles in this series is available at ten cents per copy, $3 per hundred.
It happens every sunday night. Eight hundred or more people pack into a church auditorium designed to seat comfortably only 750. Seventy per cent are under twenty-five, but adults of all ages, even into the eighties, are mingled with the youth, and people of widely varying cultural backgrounds all sit, sing, and pray together.
A leader stands at the center front, a microphone around his neck. “This is the family,” he says. “This is the body of Christ. We need each other. You have spiritual gifts which I need, and I have some that you need. Let’s share with each other.” When a hand goes up toward the back of the center section, a red-haired youth runs down the center aisle with a wireless microphone. It is passed down the pew to the young man, who stands waiting to speak. “Man, I don’t know how to start,” he says, his shoulder-length hair shining as he turns from side to side. “All I know is that I’ve tried the sex trip and the drug trip and all the rest but it was strictly nowhere. But last week I made the Jesus trip—or I guess I should say that He found me—and, man, what love! I can’t get over it. I’m just a new Christian, but man, this is where it’s at!” A wave of delight sweeps the auditorium, and everyone claps and smiles as the leader says, “Welcome to the family. What’s your name?”
Other hands are waving for recognition. The leader points to a well-groomed, attractive woman in her midthirties. “I just wanted to tell you of the Lord’s supply to me this week,” she says into the mike. She is a divorcée with small children. Her income had dwindled to the point that she’d had only forty-two cents to eat on ...1
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