Sunday now came. Erin, Matt, and Shawn arrived to church early. They couldn't wait to share the good news with Pastor Duncan about Hosea and Megan's invitation to go back to church community.
Pastor Duncan was at the front door this time, so it was a great time to catch him.
"Hi, Erin, Matt and Shawn. How was your week?" Pastor Tim asked.
"Just great, thanks, Pastor. There is some good news for you."
"What's that, Shawn?"
"Our friends decided to accept our invitation to return to church."
"I'm happy the prayer is finally answered. I will do that in prayer this morning."
"Thanks. I'm sure our friends will be surprised you're mentioning it in prayer. I know they're not the only ones who are doing that today," Shawn said as Erin and Matt walked inside the church.
"You are exactly right. Today it's just stories about how God has changed them in a while. Tell me your friends' names again."
"Hosea and Megan Spencer. Their son has been coming here a while now. He somehow decided to accept coming to God's House right away."
"That's great, Shawn. I'm sure your friends might be interested in sharing their story?"
"I'm not sure. I didn't know what today's message would be, so I would doubt they want to share in front of people they don't know," Shawn answered.
"That's all right, too. Are they showing up at your house today after church?"
"That's what he told me at lunch. They think God provides them to stay home without going out and help serve God to others by doing something else."
"I'm sure you understood that from the beginning," Pastor Tim said.
"Yes. I'm happy Erin and I had the chance to help them out and change their minds about community. I'm supposed to wait here for them at the door."
"That's all right, Shawn. It was nice talking with you. I will be at your house after the service."
"That's what I told them."
"Enjoy the service," Pastor Tim said.
After Pastor Tim walked inside, Shawn saw Jake, Megan and Hosea heading their way.
Shawn was happy to see that Jake was showing them the way inside the church.
Then they headed closer to the door.
"Hi, Shawn," Hosea said as they got closer.
"Hi, Hosea. Glad you guys were able to show up."
"We actually followed Jake this time so that way he would show us where everything is."
"I thought you said you already knew the way."
"We did, but somehow Jake wanted to take two cars."
"I have a truck," Jake said.
"Matt's talked a lot about you, Jake. It's finally nice to meet you again."
"Thank you, Mr. Saunders."
After Jake disappeared inside, Shawn said, "That's one smart boy you have."
"You got that right," Megan said.
"That's how we raised him. Show us where the seats are," Hosea said.
"Just follow me," Shawn said as he finished greeting other members and guests.
"Do you stay at the door every week, Shawn?" Hosea asked.
"Not my job, but today I decided to take over from Pastor Duncan. He was at the door earlier before you came."
"Why don't you introduce us?" Megan asked him.
"I will, but that can wait at the house. We're only having nine people in the group today," Shawn told her.
"That's fine. I hope they're good friends," Megan said.
"Yes, they are. Erin and I are looking forward for you guys to meet them."
"Have they been attending this church before you joined or at the same time?" Megan asked.
"Both, actually. Some of them are newer too. Pastor Tim said today is only about sharing stories on how God's changed you. He said you're welcome to do that if you want."
"No. This church doesn't know us."
"It doesn't really matter. If you don't want to share your story, that's fine too."
"Show us where you normally sit."
"Just follow me."
So Megan and Hosea did. Jake disappeared to find Matt.
"Where did Jake go?" Hosea asked.
"Went to look for Matt," Shawn answered.
"Does Jake sit with you or somewhere else?"
"Somewhere else, but I guess it depends on what seats are open."
So they walked inside and followed Shawn where to sit and go from there.
"We're not tithing today," Megan replied.
"That's okay. You're only here to check us out, which I understand."
They didn't say much after sitting down since the music was about to start. Hosea and Megan looked at each other.
"Do you think this is a choir?" Megan asked.
"Not a choir, Megan. Just a band."
That was Erin who answered the question. Shawn let her answer the question this time. He's done enough for now.
"How does it feel to be back in His House so far?" Erin asked.
"Don't know yet. There's no music playing yet," Megan answered.
She and Hosea looked like they were still lost because of not coming to church after so long, which is understandable.
"You won't get lost in the message today."
"That's what you already said, Shawn."
"Sorry if I repeated it," Shawn apologized.
"That's all right," Megan said.
"I understand about being lost like this. I felt that way too when Shawn introduced me to faith."
"You did that too?" Hosea asked.
"Not the way you did, but I took time to get used to hearing other people talk every Sunday. That's when I changed my mind if I wanted to accept God in my life and raise children with the same faith."
When the music started, lots of people came and found their seats.
"This place is a full house."
"Don't you know it," Shawn told Hosea.
"From the way I see it, I believe it."
"Me too," Megan agreed.
So the church sang a few songs and then they sat down once more while Pastor Tim walked up.
"I know we all accept other guests who don't share their faith with the church community and serve God on their own without sharing with us. I'm seeing there are lots of guests here who probably have the issue and decided to change their lives around.
"That's what we're talking about today. But first, let's pray and stories will be shared.
"Father, Thank You for sharing Your Word with us today. You know who will share their stories on how much they've changed in the past week and what You have done to them.
"We also welcome guests who are still afraid to return to Your House. Like we heave heard several times, You work in mysterious ways.
"Also Thank You for starting a new week with promises. I hope and pray for those who need Your guidance right now have listened to their answered prayer about trying to return to church, even though it will be hard the first time around.
"For those who are first – time guests, please give them the chance to share their story on returning to You or are starting to believe.
"In Your Name, Amen."
Megan and Hosea liked that prayer. Sometimes they write theirs longer than what Pastor Tim had just said in his own words.
Shawn tapped Hosea on the shoulder and whispered, "I think you and Megan should go up there and share your story."
Hosea shook his head.
"I'm sure that can wait until we have that group at your place," Hosea whispered back.
"That's fine. You don't have to if you don't want."
"I think we'll keep it that way."
"That's your decision."
The first person to go up on the stage was a newcomer just like he and Megan are.
"You want to share with us on what God has told you this last week?" Pastor Tim asked the young college student.
"You can begin now."
"On what made me come today was because I had a feeling on God calling me to attend this church for the first time and share the story He wanted me to.
"On what made me change was spending more time with God. I think about God while I'm in school. I would like to be a teacher, so I'm planning on that."
"Why don't you tell us your name?" Pastor Tim asked.
"I shared it with you, Pastor. My name is Garrett Webb. Somehow Got pointed me to His House today and said that I should join a small group that's beginning right after the service."
"That's us," Erin whispered to Shawn.
He only nodded, but didn't say anything.
"I somehow saw the activities on the announcements here in the notes section. To you who have decided to have your group, I am delighted to join for a while. Thank you."
So Garrett continued his story. He shared it with the church for a few more minutes and then somebody else took their turn. Not too many people were sharing their stories about the changes God had made for them.
There were only five people who decided to share what happened to them, so that was good enough. That's what the message was about today, so Pastor Tim didn't have to preach.
Tim let each person speak for twenty minutes, and that was a good limit.
So when the service was over, the band came back up and then the members and guests tithed.
Once the music ended, it was now time to head out to Shawn and Erin's house. Hosea and Megan had been there a couple times, so they know the way.
Hosea didn't bring his motorcycle. He and Megan agreed to leave it at home to be respectful to the church for the first time, which made sense.
They decided to follow Jake in his truck. Jim told Jake he'd meet them at Matt's house. He went to mass with Allison and Donald instead, but it was just for the day.
At least he had the address to the house as well.
Jake seemed to be fine on going to church without Jim tagging along for once, but Jim said he would return the following week.
So Hosea and Megan saw there were already a few cars in the neighborhood from the church. A couple of them made Hosea and Megan guess that they could be neighbors with either some of the members or if they were just arriving.
That's when Shawn and Erin drove in. Shawn decided to let Erin and Matt out first and then opened the garage door and put the car away.
Hosea noticed the college student arrived just now also.
"What did you think of the service?" Erin asked them.
"It was good, but we think this might be the only time to go," Megan told her.
"God wants everyone to be involved in His plans, not just keep to yourselves."
"Erin's right," one of the members said, but they weren't ones that Hosea and Megan saw at the church.
Some of their friends decided to stay for an hour or so, even if it meant going on for a couple hours, and Shawn was fine with that.
"Glad you liked our church. Maybe you could come again next week and see what Pastor Tim will be talking about," Shawn told Hosea and Megan.
"We'll see. You never know what God tells us to do next week, whether to show up or stay home. Either way, we'll take it," Hosea told him.
Pastor Tim and his wife were the next ones to show up.
"Here's your chance to meet Tim," Shawn told them.
Tim and his wife headed their way.
"Hello, Shawn, Erin. Thank you for inviting us to your house for a while. I don't think we'll be staying long," Tim said.
"That's all right, Pastor Tim. I'd like you to meet a couple friends of mine. This is Hosea Spencer and his wife, Megan. Today was their first time returning to church."
"That's a good thing you decided to try coming back. I've heard a bit about you from Shawn."
"You did? So did we. I'm Hosea Spencer, but I work with Shawn. I'm only senator here in Colorado."
"I think I've seen you on TV and in the paper once in a while. Keep up the good work, Mr. Spencer."
"You're welcome, Pastor. It was a pleasure meeting you too."
They decided to go inside and then the fun will begin.
So Hosea and Megan saw Jake head upstairs, but it looks like Jim might show up soon.
Everyone kept talking, and it was nice to meet other people who were invited to church for the first time.
Megan and Hosea decided to stay for a while, but Jake might end up hanging around here longer, which was fine.
When it was time to go, Shawn showed Megan and Hosea where Matt's room was so they could say good – bye on their way out.
"Thank you, Shawn. This was a nice time."
"Glad you enjoyed it, Hosea. I'll see you at work tomorrow."
"See you then, Shawn. This is quite an adventure we've been having."
"You bet," Megan agreed.
"Jake, we're leaving. We'll see you at home later!" Hosea called from outside of Matt's bedroom.
"All right! Have a safe trip home!"
Once again, Megan and Hosea said their thank – you and then headed home.
"It was a nice day, wasn't it, Megan?"
"Yes, it was. We'll have to keep praying about returning to church more."
"I like the idea. Let's head home."
So they did.