Herbert Cooper is a friend of mine I grew up with in Wewoka. He was a year younger than me but we played on a couple of soccer teams together and we considered ourselves friends but we were not real close. He was a very nice and smart guy but he was not someone I would pick out of his class as someone who would become an influential leader and pastor of a mega church. When Herbert was in high school, God took hold of his heart and he surrendered his life to Christian service. He became an Assembly of God evangelist and eventually started a church in Oklahoma City. That church he started, People’s Church, has grown rapidly over the last few years. It was recently recognized as one of the top ten fastest growing churches in America.
Is he not the exact type of person we see God using throughout the Bible? He used people like David, who was the youngest son in an insignificant family of an insignificant tribe. There was Mary and Joseph, ordinary Jews learning to be a good Jewish couple. Abraham did not have much when he left what he had behind and began a journey without a named destination. Few of the 12 disciples were educated and they all were seen as poor choices for a rabbi to ask to be his disciples.
It is an encouragement to me that if God chooses to use these types of people, then he can use me as well. It is time we stop making excuses for why God would not use us and step out in faith, obeying His call for our life. This applies to our church as well. God can use a small church like ours to do great things. We just have to stop making excuses and obey the call God has given us. We must be careful not to be satisfied where we are and radically buy into the vision he has given us of taking the gospel to Bartlesville and beyond. Herbert Cooper challenges us this way, “A church is in trouble when its memories are more powerful than its dreams.”