When we began Times Square Church in 1987, we quickly realized we were pastoring in a modern-day Corinth, one of the most carnal areas in the world in New Testament times. Therefore, we had to preach a convicting message that would awaken hearts. When we first opened our doors, our services were attended by many Christians who worked in the entertainment industry on stage and in television and film. Some had chosen to stay in careers that clearly dishonored the Lord.
We wondered whether we could evangelize unsaved show people if our own congregants were still involved in unsavory aspects of the business. So we preached a message of “separation,” and the Lord began to deal with people. Many gave up lucrative careers in show business and God blessed them marvelously. “Come out from among them, and be separate, says the Lord” (2 Corinthians 6:17).
We discovered that God had kept a godly remnant for himself in Times Square Church, a people who loved his Word. In every service the people sat like hungry birds, their mouths wide open for food. Afterward, they took home sermon tapes to listen to. Our church experienced a spirit of repentance, an eagerness to obey, and a readiness to conform to God’s Word.
As we all came under the power and government of God’s Word, ministers and congregants alike, our services were filled with more than tears of repentance. The sanctuary was filled with sounds of victory, joy and gladness. There was great rejoicing because we had begun to understand the great truth of God’s Word.
We learned that to maintain the joy of the Lord among his people, God calls for an even deeper work in our lives.