Would Your Congregation Pass This Homeless Pastor Test?

ChurchLeaders | 10/17/2018 | Staff
marika (Posted by) Level 3
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A megachurch pastor in Chicago put his congregation through a test of sorts. The pastor dressed as a homeless person and “camped” outside of a couple of his church’s campuses. His congregants’ response to him brought tears to the pastor’s eyes.

“I wanted to see how we’re doing—you know—when it’s hardest to love,” Pastor James MacDonald told his congregation after he walked on to the stage, shopping cart in tow, and peeled off his homeless person costume.

MacDonald - Message - People - Favorite - Nothing

MacDonald then preached a message on loving people who are not your favorite, when “there’s nothing in it for you.” “The closer the person is to us and the less-common the struggle, the easier it is to love,” MacDonald said to his congregation. “God forbid I find out my wife has three months to live. I’d quit my job, I’d sell everything…right? What if it’s just an acquaintance of yours and what if the problem’s recurring?”

So how did MacDonald’s congregation do at loving the “least of these”?

MacDonald - Beard - People - Church - Number

MacDonald says “I was crying inside that beard. I cannot believe the people in this church. The number of people that prayed with me and brought me food…” The congregation was then shown a video of footage he was able to capture during his experiment camping outside the church. In the video, people are seen bringing him food, giving him money, praying for him and asking how they might help him. Some, however, apparently don’t know how to respond, hesitating as they walk by on their way in the church.

MacDonald is the founder and senior pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel, which has seven campuses spread across the Chicago metro area and serves about 13,000 people each week.

Object - Lesson - Clarksville - Tennessee - Time

A similar object lesson has been performed before, in 2013 in Clarksville, Tennessee. Before preaching for the first time to his newly-assigned congregation...
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