On our way to North Little Rock yesterday, our family stopped and visited the church in McCrory, Ark.

 I wanted to see Matt Clifton in person. Matt hosts and serves as webmaster and an editor for BrotherhoodNews.com. We’ve worked together for a while and I’ve enjoyed our association. So even though he had other commitments afterwards, it would give us a chance to at least see him and hear him teach and preach.

Later, I hope to comment on the McCrory congregation — we were encouraged in our visit there. But let me talk about Matt for now.

Matt has been instrumental in the 11 baptisms in the congregation thus far this year. He has a heart for reaching the small community in which the church shines as a light (his sermon text was on being a light from Philippians 2). He does what he preaches.

Matt is a personable brother, his kindness evident in each movement, and in his teaching of the truth about the nature of the church and how essential it is to be a part of that church for which Jesus died.

His wife and children made their way to meet us. You might not find that impressive, but I’ve been in congregations — some of them repeatedly — where I wondered if the preacher was married or not. The week previously his middle child had been baptized into Christ.

The most remarkable thing about Matt was that he refused — okay, he declined — letting us treat him and his family to lunch. Reason: his parents were visiting and he had already set up to lunch with them, and was concerned not to disrupt his attempts to influence his mother, who was not a member of the church.

I loved Matt for that.

May the Lord give Matt a fruitful ministry and life and health as he gives glory to the Lord by his preaching. And a next visit for us to have more time together.

But next time, the lunch is on him.

What do you think?