You’ve probably seen the story of Pastor Jeremiah Steepek, who went to the church at which he was guest speaking disguised as a homeless man. It’s very convicting and whatnot. And completely made up.
Dear people, stop making stuff up and stop stealing stories.
Because the real story is more interesting. The real story is that of Rev. Willie Lyle, a Methodist minister in Clarksville, TN. In response to a dream, he lived on the streets for 5 days and then shared his experience with his congregation.
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Early morning on June 23, Willie lay under a tree on the church lawn covered up by a big overcoat. He still had not shaved or combed his hair. He wondered how many people would approach him and offer him food, or a place to sit inside an air conditioned room, or just see how they could help. Twenty people spoke to him and offered some type of assistance.
The sermon title was “The Least Used Parts of the Body” and based on I Corinthians 12:12-15. According to Pastor Lyle, “Often the least used parts of the body are the ones that mean the most, like our heart and mind. We need to understand that there are no small or least used parts in the body of Christ.
“Too many of us only want to serve God one hour each week. That doesn’t cut it. That is not God’s plan.”
While he preached, his daughter-in-law cut his hair and his daughter helped shave off his scruffy beard. He changed shoes, and beneath the overcoat, he was wearing his Sunday clothes. He put on a tie and his suit coat, all the while continuing to preach his message. Before the 200 people gathered that morning, he went from looking like a homeless person to the new pastor of the congregation.”
It’s a beautiful and important story, and lies and “enhancements” don’t help at all.