Well, that was a powerful Men’s Prayer Breakfast I just got back from. 105 men were in attendance at Gospel Light Bible Baptist Church for fellowship, preaching and prayer, this blessed morning, Saturday, March 5th, 2011.
First came a buffet breakfast featuring french toast, a fruity cream cheese topping, cheesy potato casserole, sausage, bacon, and a variety of fruits. Thanks go to our chefs Jeremiah and Benjamin.
Loud and enthusiastic singing of hymns was lead by Gospel Light song leader Mateo. The music special for the morning was a Men’s Quartet. Our own Mike W., Jeremiah, and Mateo, were joined by the booming bass voice of Pastor Tony Saxton of Charity Bible Baptist Church. With incredible harmony, they sang, “He Didn’t Come Down”. Before they could put down their microphones, they were asked to do an encore.
Pastors and Associate Pastors in attendance were instructed to come forward and introduce themselves. Each was given a $25 Hess gas card as a token of appreciation for being here and to help defray the cost of travel to the event.Brother Jose Rosenbaum was invited to come forward to provide an update on his church planting, which was what men from last years’ Prayer Breakfast helped canvas for. Although a building has yet to be found for worship, a home bible study will begin in April. We were asked to pray for Brother Rosenbaum’s vision for the future. (Brother Massa would later joke that you would have to be from New York to have a name like Jose Rosenbaum.)Pastor Vince Giardino encouraged all the men present to be a blessing and supportive of their “men of God”. He spoke of the relentless attacks on pastors, their wives, and their families. In introducing Pastor Vince Massa, our preacher for the morning, Pastor G. asked, “How many have not heard Brother Massa preach?” After a sprinkling of hands went up, he said, “Well, fasten your seat belts.” We were to soon find out why.After hearing the superb and inspiring singing of the quartet, Brother Vince Massa suggested that they should be out on a downtown corner singing for the Lord. Then he entertained us with a couple of funny stories:
- An elderly couple were driving across the country. The woman was driving when she got pulled over by the highway patrol. The officer said, “Ma’am did you know you were speeding?” The woman, hard of hearing, turned to her husband and asked, “What did he say?” The old man yelled, “He says you were speeding!” The patrolman said, “May I see your license?” The woman turned to her husband once again and asked, “What did he say?” The old man yelled, “He wants to see your license!” The woman gave the officer her license. The patrolman then said, “I see you are from Arkansas. I spent some time there once and went on a blind date with the most ill-tempered and quarrelsome woman I’ve ever met.” The woman turned to her husband and asked, “What did he say?” The old man yells, “He said he thinks he probably met you before!”
- A preacher, doctor and a lawyer went hunting. As soon as they entered the woods a big buck jumped in front of them and all three shot. The buck fell dead and all three began arguing over who shot the deer. A game warden came along and heard the commotion. He volunteered his expertise to determine which one scored the trophy. After his examination, he announced his finding, “The preacher killed the deer.” The doctor and the lawyer wanted to know how he could determine this so quickly. The warden responded, “Easy, the bullet went in one ear and out the other!”
Brother Massa read from 1 Kings 19:19-21 and then prayed for God’s will to be done here today. His sermon was about Making a Plow Boy into a Preacher, the plow boy being Elisha (see v19). In chapter 19 of 1 Kings, God commands the prophet Elijah to return to Damascus, find Elisha, and anoint him to be a “prophet in thy room”. Elijah had to travel over 300 miles to do God’s will, Brother Massa pointed out. Likewise, if we get far from God, it will take more than a day to get right with God.
Elisha, after the mantle was passed to him, knew that God had called him and he “burned his bridges”, not looking back. Thus, just as Elisha understood God’s message, Brother Massa emphasized very strongly that we need to recognize what God is calling us to do in our lives. (Side note – Brother Massa would make a wonderful Drill Sargent.) “If you really got the message, you will follow … because that’s what you got called to do … and it is not dependent on a pat on the back.” Once called to do God’s work, we too must not look back, burning our bridges to our old lives.
- The Prophet’s Call – Once the mantle had been “cast upon him”, Elisha knew that God had called him into the ministry. From experience, Brother Massa told about how important learning is to those called into God’s service. Elisha followed Elijah for 10 years, making himself a servant in preparation for his eventual ministry. The newly called should seek out a good preacher as a good example and teacher. Two instances in the bible were given: 1) Joshua was a servant to Moses (Joshua 1:1) and 2) Timothy was a student, fellow-laborer, and travel companion to Paul (Acts 16:1).
- The Prophet’s Continuation – In 2 Kings 2, Elijah was taken from Elisha, who would then to be on his own. Preachers, the new and the experienced, face tests. The Apostle Paul urged his followers to “be not weary in well doing.” 2 Thess 3:13. Patience and long-suffering is often necessary for a preacher. For a new preacher, it takes patience to build a congregation large enough to support a church building. For experienced preachers, it takes long-suffering to get through “the routine of the ministry when nothing happens” and you must “stay doing the right thing”, Brother Massa taught.
- The Prophet’s Cry – Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee.” 2 Kings 2:9. Elisha responded by saying, “let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.” 2 Kings 2:9. A preacher worth his salt will cry to God for the help and indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
- The Prophet’s Choice – Elisha became God’s choice and he took up the mantle of Elijah. When God calls us, Brother Massa advised, acknowledge God’s choice in humility. He said, “When God called me, he cast his mantle upon me.” When you pick up God’s mantle, you not only get all the blessings, but all the problems also. Just as Elisha had trouble with his followers not listening to his advise, so too do people today ignore their preacher’s advise. “God lets them go off and suffer the consequences.”, Brother Massa said.
We were told that, to be filled with the Holy Spirit, we need to give everything to God, surrendering our life and ambitions to Him. Brother Massa finished with examples of powerful preachers and men of God, each filled with the power that comes from the Holy Ghost.Brother Massa began the invitation by calling men forward “if God is speaking to your heart”. For those who God may be calling to be a preacher, he prayed for God’s help. “Amazing Grace” was being sung by Julia and Michael G., with Michael playing piano. Brother Berkinshaw and Brother Saxton finish the event with closing prayers. Thank you to all who attended and for taking the time to read this event review.