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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

Vantage Point: Dangerous Assumptions

By Ken Horn
Mar. 17, 2013

I sat with Randy* in a hospital waiting room while his wife was undergoing surgery. The two of them had been coming for a few months to the church I was pastoring at the time, and they clearly enjoyed it. Though Randy and Pam sat in the overflow at the back of the sanctuary, I often glimpsed him
participating in worship, his hands upraised as the congregation sang praises to the Lord.

I had visited the family, but this was the first time I’d been alone with Randy. I encouraged him, and we prayed for Pam. While we talked, it became clear to me Randy had probably not made a decision for Christ ... a surprise to me. And this was an opportunity.

Randy was shy, so I asked if we could continue our conversation outside. He was anxious to do so.

As we sat in my car, I discovered that, even as a pastor, I had been guilty of making a dangerous assumption. All of Randy’s actions seemed to indicate he was a believer in Christ, but it turned out he had never been to an evangelical church before. What he saw and experienced enthralled him. He simply enjoyed the people and the services so much he began copying what everyone else was doing.

“It feels good,” he told me, “when I raise my hands while we’re singing, but
I don’t really know why.”

From there the conversation didn’t take long before Randy was ready to make a decision to make Jesus the Lord of his life. Right there in my car, a lost
soul became a new creation. Randy continued to follow Christ. But I had almost let a dangerous assumption prevent me from taking the step needed to see Randy make that decision. I assumed he was a believer because he looked like one. He was doing all the things others were doing. But he was doing them because they felt good, not because he understood them. Yes, we gave regular altar calls and the gospel was clearly preached. But for some reason, Randy’s spiritual ears had not been tuned in enough. For him it took a personal touch to identify his need.

Everyone deserves personal attention, not mere assumptions..

* Names changed

Ken Horn

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