Well, Easter has happened! Jesus is alive and that changes everything. Again this year I was rocked over what Jesus did for me on the cross. I am so honored that I get to proclaim truth about his resurrection and life.
Here is a short description of what God did over the course of this last week:
* Mission team of 7 people from Lake Pointe and 12 high school students from Twin Cities Church They passed out 6,000 door hangers, wrote 100 first time guest cards, stuffed 10,000 easter eggs, filled 150 mugs with candy and an invitation to South Bay for local service agencies, and prayer walked through our community. That kicked off our week and jump started the work.
* All week we prepped for the Hunt, and God blessed it! On Saturday afternoon at this event, the best we can tell over 2,000 people showed up. It was pure chaos at its best. Parents were beating each other up for easter eggs, but kids got candy and in the end most people seemed happy and it was a good point of connection with our community.
* Easter Sunday came! We had sent out 90,000 mailers, 6,000 door hangers and literally thousands of personal invitations through people inviting their friends. This morning we had a record high attendance of 285 people at South Bay. We had 38 first time adults (still haven't gotten kid stats), 9 people decided to follow Christ for the first time, and many more indicated that they are considering a decision to follow Christ.
* We had over 60 volunteers from our church throughout the course of the weekend volunteer in one way or another. I am absolutely amazed at the hard work and diligence of our volunteer team. They worked like crazy all day Saturday and Sunday. I am blown away by the positive attitudes and energy of those on our team who serve. I think the best part is that a huge part of our team has recently just decided to follow Christ. New believers are the best because they are so pumped up and excited about Jesus. They are the most refreshing people to be around!
* Our staff team busted it this week! Archie and Rebekah, Filipe and Mandy, Renan and Juliane and of course my wife Stacie worked diligently and modeled what it means to give of themselves sacrificially. I mean this when I say they make my job of leading them and our church a great joy. I am grateful for their loyalty and support of the vision God has given our church. It is amazing to see the team God has pulled together in action! God is using us~
* We had a couple of guys from Charleston come in town to help with the band and the tech side of things. (Patrick and Sam) They served from the point they landed until the end of the day on Sunday. They are a great joy to have around!
* I lost my voice! I woke up Sunday morning and it was almost gone. It went away increasingly throughout the day. My throat now feels like someone took sandpaper to it. I still preached my guts out. I was screaming and hollering, and wanted people to get it more than ever that HE IS ALIVE!!!! I asked God to help me preach like I had just returned from the grave. I still can't get over it!
* Talked about the cross through the lens of his disciples. The 12 guys that were with him for three years. Pointed out that these men went from cowards at the point of Jesus crucifixion to heroes of the faith at the end of their lives. 10 of them would die horrible deaths for the message of the cross. What happened? The empty tomb happened. That changes everything. Now we have hope for eternity and this gives us hope for our difficulty today! We gain hope by gaining an eternal perspective!
* Looking forward to next Sunday when we talk about flipping messed up relationships back around. Don't miss out on this one. It is going to be the best Sunday yet. I believe God is going to continue to do amazing things in our midst.
I really am so glad that I get to serve Jesus. At the end of the day today I honestly am more overwhelmed by the cross than anything else. I just cannot get over the fact that he died and was crucified in my place. I am just speechless (well not totally) but I am jaw dropped at the empty tomb. I believe with heart and soul that those men and women walked up to find the folded linens of KING JESUS and that makes him LORD and the God of the universe. HE IS ALIVE!!! Crazy, Crazy, Crazy! The best news ever! I can't get over the fact that he wants me, wants my life for his glory and his kingdom. I am renewed in my passion to serve him today and want him to have all of me. Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all!
Happy Easter!!! 2009