Jill Jarrell Newsome
I always love talking to youth! I got to talk with Alena about her prom and compare when I was at Hoggard and went to the prom. Sadly, there was no prom, again, this year for the school. She was talking to her dad (my pastor, Tim) about how sad it was that they were not having prom and it was their senior year! Her dad suggested that if some parents would get together and head it up they could use our gym. Alena said she was afraid no one would show up but over 200 messages came in when she posted the idea. Because of not having to pay for a facility they were able to sell over 200 tickets at $25 for the disc jockey, food, decorations and a professional photographer. Parents brought desserts. The theme was “A Visit To Paris” complete with an Eiffel tower! There were lights strung up and mini Eiffel towers on the tables. There of a photo station of Paris when they came in. After the prom the moms cleaned up!
Alena said it meant so much to her that her church cared enough to make sure they could have a senior prom! It made her feel good for people to see “what a good church we are to offer out to the community and offer kids normalcy.” I reached out to Pastor Tim, as dad, and he said, “I admit that I first of all was a little biased since my daughter was a senior. It broke my heart that all of our youth and especially seniors had sort of been robbed by COVID and the shutdowns of many of their big high school moments. I had thought a while back that it would be good to throw a prom for folks who were not going to have one at school. When I found out that there were some parents that were interested, I said it would be a great way to show them and our community that our church really cares about them. I told them we would provide the facility free of charge. This helped them out immensely and all of them were so appreciative. It goes along with our Extra-mile Caring core value. It was wonderful seeing the joy that night on the kids faces.”
I would say our church was an encourager to many students and parents that night. Who would have thought we would be hosting a prom? Having an event and not paying for the facility is unheard of! I am sure, that alone, spoke volumes! People got to see things from God’s perspective which always brings hope and encouragement. When those students ride by our church they will remember that is where their prom was when everything was closed! Now, that is a glory sighting!
I wrote this for my church for a glory sighting but I thought this pertains to us too. We are the church! To some of you this may seem like a little thing. I believe God likes small things. Isn’t He the God of impossibilities? He takes insignificant smallness and turns it into amazing things! In the Bible, many events started out small like the little boy whose small lunch was given to Jesus to be a blessing and feed 5,000! Little things matter. “The smallest deed is better than the greatest intention.” And I believe there will be many glory sightings, we may or may not know of, that will come from hosting that prom. Those little things are a lot when we do them for the will of God. Little things matter and only God knows how much.
If you came to church that Sunday, you had no idea, the night before, it was transformed into Paris! This small deed was done without ever interrupting church but I believe we are to interrupt church to do ministry. Jesus’ ministry was full of interruptions. He was interrupted when he was teaching and four men lowered a friend into the house by way of the roof. He spoke forgiveness and healing into the lame man. He was interrupted as He traveled by blind Bartimaeus and worked a miracle that showed people He cared for all. Interrupted from His sleep by the disciples who were scared of a storm. He taught them about fear and faith. He was interrupted by a crowd when He got out of a boat, and was interrupted, again, by a man asking Him to come heal his daughter. As He was going, Jesus noticed someone with a great need and great faith had touched him. He healed the woman who had been bleeding for twelve years. Jesus showed us that interruptions are a part of ministry!
If you are like me, interruptions can be annoying but we must strive to be more like Jesus. You never know when that "interruption" may result in a glory sighting!
"Some of the best things God will do in your life will not be o n your schedule."