I Was Thinking…
One of my favorite contemporary hymns in our United Methodist hymnal is “Spirit Song”. It was written and put to music by John Wimber in 1979. Every time I sing that song, I think of John Wimber’s faith journey and find it inspiring.
John Wimber was not a person of faith. He was a very gifted musician who was a pianist and vocalist in the rock group called ‘The Paramours’, later known as ‘The Righteous Brothers’. However, his life was empty…even with all the success, he was lost, afraid and uncertain.
One Sunday evening he wondered into a church to see if an answer could be discovered for his living. He was so unchurched that he asked the usher where the ‘smoking section’ was located. The gentle usher could sense John was genuinely seeking and knew nothing about faith or church. This gracious usher helped him to feel welcome in what was a strange environment for John. That night John Wimber found Christ to be real and relevant for his life. He began a journey of transformation in Christ. John Wimber began inviting his friends and many of them found new life in Christ as well. His friends were long-haired and knew all too well the hippie lifestyle, yet the church opened their arms to them, and lives were transformed.
One dear saint of the church approached John Wimber several months after his conversion and said with tears in her eyes, “Mr. Wimber, I am so upset with you! You are bringing so many of your friends to church with you that I hardly have a seat for worship anymore.” Then she smiled and hugged him saying, “You know I’m kidding…God has brought life to this church through you. Thank You.”
Later John would become a Quaker and begin a movement across this country known as the Vineyard movement. It continues to be a vivid and vital movement for Christ.
What if John Wimber had wondered into our church? Would we have been ready? Would he have been welcome? What are we doing to make sure God can and will use us for growing the Kingdom of Love and grace?
“O let the Son of God enfold you with his Spirit and his love. Let him fill your heart and satisfy your soul. O let him have the things that hold you, and his Spirit like a dove will descend upon your life and make you whole. Jesus, O Jesus, come and fill your lambs. Jesus, O Jesus, come and fill your lambs.”
P.S. This D.S. and his wife are so proud to serve Christ with you!