Sushant Vohra/Unsplash

Skip: Are you the Apostle Paul?


Paul: Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God.


Skip: Hello, there!


Paul: Grace and peace to you!


Skip: I’m Skip Mattison, the founder and lead pastor of MegaLife Church, a church of 30,000

people in the beautiful outer west suburbs of a big city like Rome. I’m from the future.


Paul: Welcome, brother in Christ and fellow called apostle! It is wonderful news that you have the opportunity to preach Christ crucified to 30,000 people!


Skip: Well, I have other good news, too! There are many more Christians in the world, and, in my country, we have the legal right to gather in public to worship!


Paul: This is indeed wonderful news! How are the assemblies of your country utilizing this legal right for the Gospel?


Skip: Well, like I said earlier, I preach every week to 30,000 people—


Paul: They are not 30,000 disciples?


Skip: Well, many of them are. We study the Bible every Sunday and the Gospel is preached.


Paul: And what happens next? What do they do?


Skip: Well, they go home, and then they go to work or school.


Paul: How wonderful! Men and women and children serving the communities, sharing the Gospel.


Skip: We did just start a new series of evangelism seminars . . .


Paul: So, how do you get so many people to come to an assembly who are not disciples?


Skip: Ah, yes! Well, we had a meeting of local denominational leaders—


Paul: Who?


Skip: Uh, church leaders. And we had done research on the local demographic, and we had done a survey—


Paul: Did you pray?


Skip: Yes, of course. And we had taken a survey of what people like to see and experience in a church service.


Paul: Oh, such as the work of the Holy Spirit? Opportunities to serve the poor of the community?


Skip: No, what type of preaching style they like, what type of music they like, and how they like to be served at a church.


Paul: I’m sorry. Did you say “how they like to be served at church”?


Skip: Giving people what they want. That’s how the market works, and the market is always right. This is how we reach as many people as possible.


Paul: Who said that that was the calling? “As many people as possible”?


Skip: Paul, it’s our marketing approach and our excellence that brings people into the doors of our church. And then we preach the Gospel.


Paul: Yes, I understand. And are these people from all different types of wage levels, tribes and tongues?


Skip: Well, sort of.


Paul: And what, again, do they do when they leave? Do they give to the poor? Do they speak out against unjust laws like gladiatorialism? Do they address sin within communities when they see it?


Skip: Sometimes, yes.


Paul: Sometimes?


Skip: And they always come back on the next Sunday.


Paul: Why? Are they excited to pray together? Hear from the Word of God? Be reunited with brothers and sisters in Christ despite the many burdens and sorrows?


Skip: It’s mostly because of what we do for them that they come back.


Paul: I’m afraid I don’t understand how this works.


Skip: I thought you’d be happy, Paul. We’ve been able to build a church of 30,000 people, and churches all around my country are using our methods to do the same thing.


Paul: But, Skip, you said that many of them were not disciples . . .

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Eliza Pirosca Warden is a Romanian singer, musician and composer whom I first met in Romania in 2008. Seven years later, I hosted her at my first multicultural church and organized a tour for her to play at a few of the Romanian Baptist churches in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. I've posted about Eliza before.


Since the quarantine began, Eliza has been regularly organizing musical performances on her front lawn for the community, and has recently written a song in English, "Remember Me, O God," based on Psalm 57. Lyrics below:


Remember me, O God, come to my rescue,

From death and loneliness I cry out!

Your faithfulness and love, send them from Heaven,

Fulfill Your perfect purpose for my soul.


In the midst of suffering and destruction,

I choose to trust that You are the Lord,

And when my heart is surrounded by my enemies,

I set my eyes on your unending love.


In the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge,

Till the sorrow and the fear pass away.

To You, Lord, I will give thanks among the nations,

I will awake the dawn to bless Your name.


My soul was downcast and my strength was waning,

My Lord and my Redeemer heard my cry,

His strong Hand brought me in His House of Freedom!

Praise and Glory be to God most high!

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Jason Sankey/Unsplash

I've posted about the work of Maverick City Music three times before. And they recently released a new song with powerful lyrics. Written by Naomi Raine, Alton Eugene, and Benji Cowart, it is cleverly titled "The Story I'll Tell." Lyrics below:


The hour is dark and it’s hard to see

What you are doin’ here in the ruins

And where this will lead

Oh but I know that down through the years,

I’ll look on this moment, see your hand on it

And know you were here


And I’ll testify of the battles you’ve won

How you were my portion when there wasn’t enough

I'll sing a song of the seas that we crossed

The waters you parted, the waves that I walked


Oh, my God did not fail

Oh, it’s the story I’ll tell

Oh, I know it is well

Oh it's the story I’ll tell


Believing gets hard when options are few

When I can't see how you're moving

I know that you're proving you're the God that comes through

Oh, but I know that over the years, I’ll look back on this moment

And see your hand on it, and know you were here


All that is left is highest praises

So sing hallelujah to the Rock of Ages

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