3 Ways to Deal with an Empty Altar

  Good morning, Pastor!  It’s the day after you have poured out what God filled you up with the previous week.  For some of us, it can be a frustrating day because of the lack of people that responded to our proclamation of The Gospel.  We wanted to see hearts transformed by the power of the Gospel.  We desired, just as we desire each week, to see people falling to their knees and crying out “Abba Father!” to the Lord Almighty.  We wanted to see great things for God’s glory happen but, for some, it just didn’t.

Since that can sometimes be the case, I wanted to share with you the message of encouragement that God gave me when I was having one of those types of days.

In Acts 4:15-17, Peter, John and the man, formerly known as “crippled”, are sent out of a meeting that Peter had just turned into a church service by laying out the Gospel.  What caught my attention was that we are given insight into what was discussed in the meeting.  No one in favor of Jesus was listening in and reporting what was said so that it could be recorded.  So, how did Luke find out what was discussed?

The only thing that we can surmise is that one of those men at the meeting had an encounter with Jesus at some point later in life!  So, how is that encouraging to us?  Here are three ways it was encouraging to me:

  • Sometimes It Feels Like We’re Being Ignored, But We’re Not

While it may feel that no one is listening to you, people are hearing the message that you’re proclaiming.  We have to remember that we didn’t immediately respond when God prodded us the first time either.  Many times, there is a gradual chipping away that is happening and that’s something that we rarely get to see.

  • God Works on The Heart

Remember, they’re not resisting you, they’re resisting Him.  He is steadily using your proclamation of the Word to squeeze their stoney heart. Don’t take on the responsibility of transforming their heart, let God do that, He’s better at it than we are.

  • Fruit is Grown Overtime, Not Overnight

The fruitfulness of your obedience doesn’t always produce immediate results.  Strong and healthy fruit comes over a long gradual period of growth, not a short spurt.  Keep going strong and proclaim the gospel faithfully because God has a plan for those people that are listening and when He breaks into their lives maybe you’ll get to hear how your obedience played a part in their transformation.

How do you remain encouraged after an empty altar Sunday?

Pastor, I’m praying for you!



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