Several years ago our small church invested in new sound equipment. We had it professionally installed, and it was working great. At least we were no longer picking up the trucker CB radios as they went down the highway about a mile away! A few weeks later someone broke into the church and stole the equipment.
We reported it to the police and to our insurance company. Someone from the local paper heard about the theft and contacted me for an interview.This was a great human interest story about a small, rural church that had its new sound system stolen just a few weeks before Christmas. It made the front page of our hometown newspaper.
A few days later I was contacted by a television station in Louisville, Kentucky who wanted to interview me for their news program. The reporter came to our church, interviewed me, and a day or so later our church was on their news broadcast.
One of the questions that was asked was how this theft would affect our Christmas. My response was that our sound system had been stolen, but no one could steal Christmas. We would proceed with our usual Christmas plans. I remained very positive throughout the interview
The insurance company quickly got us a check to replace the sound system and we were able to have it installed before our Christmas program. What was really amazing was what happened a few days later. I received a call from a security company who had seen the story on the news and offered to install a security system in our church at no cost. It turned out to be a great system!
In January the sheriff's office called to tell me they thought they had located our sound system. A local farmer had been walking along a hill on his farm and saw a bunch of equipment that had been thrown over the hill from the road. I took one of our church leaders to the sheriff's office and we were able to identify it as our equipment that had been stolen. Evidently, between the local paper and the Louisville news story the equipment was too hot to keep so the thieves tossed it.
Having our new sound system stolen was a real downer. My first reaction was disbelief which quickly turned to anger. However, remaining angry wasn't going to solve anything. Our congregation was understandably upset as well so it became important for me to lead us in getting our focus back in a positive direction. I was very proud of our church at how quickly we were able to do that. As a result, we not only got the system replaced in time for our Christmas program we got a new security system as well, but ever more importantly, we had the opportunity to grow deeper in our faith and have a positive witness to our community.