Summary: You are not Alone, You matter, You are important
Anonymous Part 4, by Pastor Rob Ketterling
All right. Well, we have enjoyed the Anonymous series. In just a minute I want to show you a video, and I wanted to have a pastoral moment with all of our campuses here and just, again, let you into a glimpse of how God speaks to me and what I go through as pastor of this church. Here's the deal. In this series, we wanted to go into a prison, and I wanted to preach an entire sermon of the series in the prison. Okay, I wanted to preach it, be able to record the whole thing, and then show it at all of our campuses on the weekend. And then I would have the weekend off, I might travel, I might be on vacation, I don't know. But it was kind of a way to do that and then have a weekend off and show everybody the sermon. That was the big plan in the series.
Well, it didn't work out. We couldn't get the multiple videos in there, we couldn't get it in time. It just didn't quite work out. And the date after we got the clearance was after this would have been served. So the team came to me and they said, "Hey, do you want to still preach in the prison?"
I'm just giving you a glimpse of what is going on. In my mind, I'm thinking, "Ah, we missed the date. You know, I've never preached in a prison before. You know, it won't matter if I preach. I won't be able to show the video, and I won't get the weekend off." And so my flesh is saying like, you know, "Here am I. Send somebody else." Okay? Can I be human for you? All right, some of you, that bothers you. All right. I don't float either, you know, on water. All right. So I'm just struggling with it. And as I'm kind of this is all going on so quick. And in the moment, all of a sudden I wanted to say you know, like, "Send one of our other team or somebody that is faithful in prison ministry."
And this what the Holy Spirit did to me. "Oh, really? Because you can't have the weekend off, you're not going to go preach to the prisoners? Oh, because it doesn't work for your schedule, you're not going to inconvenience yourself on your day off and go to the prison and preach on your day off? Oh, so that's how you're going to be; pro Christian, not just Christian serving Jesus."
Wow! Getting disciplined, all right? So immediately, as I'm ready to say no, I'm like, "I'm going. I'm going."
So I'm just giving you a glimpse into the struggle, because I know you have the same struggles. And somebody asks you to serve and you go, "Oh, it doesn't work in my schedule, it doesn't work in my time, doesn't work with this. Send somebody else." And then the Holy Spirit does the same thing to you.
I just wanted you to have a glimpse into this, and then when you see this video, I wanted you to enjoy the video. But I, just being transparent, I just didn't want you to think that your pastor was like, man, he's running at every fire. There are days that the flesh riles up in me. I have to kill the flesh just like you do. And I was just glad to serve and to be transparent. So enjoy this video where we went to the prison, all right?
Amen, amen. And I want to say thank you to all the people that go into the prison. And we have over 60 people that are in Lifegroups that are there ministering, and we have several people that are just going in weekly and preaching to the prisoners. And can we show our appreciation to the real heroes, the people that go in day in and day out. Thank you. Yes.
Now, today I want to switch gears on the Anonymous, and I want to assure you that you are not anonymous, that you are not a number, but that you matter. And in a large church like this, I really want to address this, because you may not realize this. But, you know, we count everything around River Valley. We count everything because that data gives us feedback. I want to know how many people are in Lifegroups. I want to know how many Lifegroups we have. I want to know how many students went to mid week. I want to know how many kids were in youth group. I want to know how many people gave their life to Jesus Christ. I want the data of how many people prayed with prayer teams. I want to know how many people got baptized in the Holy Spirit at our Holy Spirit retreat. I want the numbers. I want the data because the data tells the story. So every week we are getting numbers. You may not realize this as well, but our church has to fill out an annual report. In our fellowship that we are involved in, we fill out this report and tell them all the numbers because they tell a story. Okay?