Zach wasn’t exactly sure what he was supposed to do, he knew the end result he was hoping for, but there were so many factors to consider in between that each time he saw the goal it seemed to get a little further away. “Determination and the proper attitude is the way of the world, the Lord says humility and obedience is the right and pleasing way to Him.” It was a catch phrase he had memorized a long time ago, and he knew that the Lord had never led him astray yet. Still though, the One who had the power to raise Lazarus from the dead also had the power to roll away the stone, it was in His wisdom to have those who were there to perform that part of the task.
“The board has determined that we will at least hear your proposal Zachary, but you must remember, these things take time, there are rules and regulations that must be complied with, the church is no different than any other business entity out there.” He walked toward his vehicle after the Sunday morning service dejected, again, the idea that the Holy Spirit had placed within him almost six months ago now was a good one, one that would bring glory to God and help the teenage young men in the congregation to become ardent disciples for Christ to a lost world, Zach knew this in his heart.
It was an old, well established church, even holding a place on the historical registry within the community, and many who attended regularly could trace their lineage to the beginnings of it, even his grandparents had been members. The pastors and elders over the years had been hand-picked and voted in by the majority of the congregation of almost two hundred souls, but many times it was obvious to a few within the assembly that they were not put in their positions by God.
“I don’t know Tim, they just don’t want to seem to listen, it’s like their afraid I’m trying to usurp their authority or something.” “It’s a good plan Zach, and you know what the Scriptures say, “If this thing is from God, no man will be able to stand against it.” Don’t give up, there’s a lot more of us praying for you than you know.”
The statement gave him renewed vigor, and over the next several weeks as he patiently waited for the governing board to announce that they were ready to hear his proposal, he studied and planned, searching the Scriptures daily, doing nearly constant research on the internet on others who had implemented similar ideas, always in prayer and constantly reminding himself that it was the souls of the young teenage boys he was thinking about, the paths they would choose for their lives.
It was another two months before the board called him back into the church meeting room, the room very few were allowed to enter, a place set apart for only those at the very top of the chain of command, as it were. “Well, you have put together a very concise proposal Zachary, both in its context and Scripture relations, but I must go on record here that no one on the board feels that it is something that we desire to be implemented into the structure of the church.” His heart sank, almost a year of planning, research and prayer, encouragements from some in the church telling him not to give up, wasted. “That being said, some very influential members of the church, in fact some of the largest donors, have persuaded the board to give this experiment a chance under very close observation by the board, and for a very limited time.” Zach held back the tears of joy and praise back until he made it to his vehicle, but then he could hold them no longer, and both the praise and the tears flowed from his heart freely.
He was allowed to use one of the rooms in the furthest back corner of the church in the basement, a small storage room that reeked of must and age, barely large enough to hold the twenty desks that had been donated for the class by an anonymous source. Tim was an electrician, Jeff a carpenter, and within just a few weeks they had a space to meet that was more than adequate, more than presentable. Scripture verses and pictures were hung on the wall, twenty new Bibles along with the study guides that Zach had developed were placed on each desk.
The announcement of the new class for young teenage men was given almost exactly one year after the first thoughts of it were placed in his mind, no big fanfare, no explanation of the intended purpose, just one quickly read sentence, “A new class for teenage men will begin next Sunday at nine a.m. in the basement of the church.” Obvious scowls were present on the faces of many, this was far outside the norm for this historic assembly, but they did not bother Zach one bit, his elation could not be dampened, and it only seemed to lift his praise up to God even higher when he saw the smiles on some of the others present that morning.
Zach was in the small, fresh new paint smelling room at 7:30 the next Sunday morning, praying on his knees, checking and then rechecking that everything was in its place, his first notes set in order on his own small desk. He waited there until ten-fifty, walking into the main congregation hall just as the first song began, not noticing the looks of some with self-centered smiles on their faces, not knowing the rumors that had already been started about him, not hearing the whispers of some about this usurper, this renegade from the honored traditions of the historic assembly.
“I’m sorry Zachary, but it’s been four weeks now, and with not one young person showing up yet, the board has determined to…” “Is this the right room, hey, this is cool, I was expecting some damp old dungeon.” The two Benson boys walked in, found two desks to sit at, and were followed almost immediately by two teenage girls, young ladies! And then another young man, within five minutes twelve of the twenty desks were filled, laughter and conversation abounded, the room was resounding with joy. As the two board members began to walk quickly out with scowls on their faces, Zachary asked his class to quiet down just a little, and then asked them to join him in a short prayer before they began.