On February 2, Faith Baptist Bible College had a rare snow day. Actually, as rare as they are, it was my second one in two years of school at Faith. But still, a snow day at Faith is an indication that the weather is really bad and the roads are sidewalk are not the safest for travel.
Well, unlike the snow day in 2009-2010, the weather on Wednesday, February 2 wasn’t as bad as the forecast had shown only the day before when the announcement was made. But it was still bad enough that churches cancelled their mid-week services.
So for the second year in a row, several of us students were left wondering what to do since we couldn’t go to church. Yes, we could study, or we could enjoy the extra time off and have some fun with friends on campus.
But for us students, church on Wednesday is not a routine that we are obligated to perform. It’s an encouraging, re-energizing activity to which we enjoy being faithful out of an obligation to glorify God and uplift our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. We were genuinely disappointed that we could not go to church that evening.
So for the second year in a row, we instituted our makeshift “homemade church” and started inviting everyone on-campus to join us. No, we are not the local church, nor did we claim to be, but as members of the universal church of Christ, we decided that our Wednesday night alternative could fittingly be dubbed “homemade church.”
The texts went out, invitations were given verbally, and plans were made for an evening of prayer, worship, and fellowship that we would normally enjoy at our churches. Last year we had less than 20 people join us for prayer and a devotional, but this year 48 students showed up in the student center- almost a fifth of the on-campus student body! What an encouragement it was to see so many people come together to worship on an evening when they could have done something else with their time.
We started off by singing several choruses and hymns. We had a guitar and I also accompanied on my accordion, an instrument that I love to play but don’t have many opportunities to. On a cold, blustery evening, it was heartwarming to see and hear 48 mouths echoing the glory of God. The smiles on people’s faces communicated a love for God and a joy that only He can give on a day like that.
Intermingled with the songs were testimonies from the students. People voiced the love, grace, faithfulness, and ministry of God in their lives. Too often at school we get so busy learning about the Bible and talking about God in class that we forget to talk about how God is working in our lives outside of class. It was so neat set aside the topic of studying for the evening and hear how God was working in hearts outside of the classroom.
Finally, we ended the night with prayer. We broke up into several small groups and prayed for each other. Once again, it was encouraging to see a room full of students with their heads bowed offering up intercessions and supplications with thanksgiving on behalf of one another. It was like the Student Missionary Fellowship’s prayer band on Monday nights, only this time the students were praying for each other. It was the perfect way to end the day and prepare for the resuming of classes on Thursday.
The local church always has first priority. But sometimes there are times like Wednesday, February 2, when it’s just not possible to go to church, and God is still honored when believers of like faith join together to worship Him. As Hebrews 10:25 says, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”