March 25, 2020
For the first time in recent history, people are being kept away from church during a national crisis. Pearl Harbor, the Stock Market Crash of 1929, the Financial Crisis of 2008, and especially after Sept. 11, 2001, people flocked to the church. Many of us remember 9-11 like it was yesterday, and the recent days have brought us to an all too familiar place.
In 2001, I was a CEO in Texas. On the morning of Sept. 11, I was on a plane from Oklahoma City through DFW to Dulles/Baltimore Airport. During the flight, our pilot rang five bells, which tells the flight attendants there’s an emergency. They left their carts in the aisles as the pilot announced, “cabin, prepare for an abrupt turn.” I had just enough time to clutch my laptop to my chest. After we landed, the pilot told us that as our plane was about to enter Washington D.C., airspace, the Air Force stated that anyone entering would be shot down.
When I got on the ground in Dallas and opened my Motorola flip phone, I called my office. They were very worried and had gone to a little Episcopal Church close to our office to pray. Yes, my whole staff made up of believers and nonbelievers went to church and prayed for our country and our president. That weekend, churches across America were flooded with people wanting to worship Jesus, many for the very first time. Out of a crisis came a profound evangelism opportunity.
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