If 2008 was the year of new beginnings, 2009 seems to be the year of EVANGELISM!
This year is off with a BANG as each month I find myself doing at least one ten-day evangelistic series in a new location. In January, we began with a quick weekend at Pleasant Hill, CA, and then quickly transitioned into our first evangelistic series of the year, which was held in Carson City, NV. Let me share briefly about both.
Pleasant Hill, CA
First, let me say that I have been blessed each time I have visited this church. This visit was no exception. But what struck me was the level of honesty and transparency I found among the members. Too many times we preach that God loves us and meets us right where we are, but then as Christians we give off an almost imperceptible vibe that although God accepts you right where you are, we, as Christians, do not. This produces a subtle negative environment in our churches that at times makes newcomers or the un-churched very uncomfortable. It also produces an environment in which members put on a good face, put their best foot forward each week, but never dare to be truly honest, instead feeling pressured to “look” and “behave” well whether they are experiencing true spiritual health or not.
This was not the environment I found at Pleasant Hill. The weekend was dedicated to being honest about where we are spiritually as families within the church and how to make spirituality as a family more practical and relevant within the time demands of our current culture. I was able to share a correct view from the Gosple of our Heavenly Papa, which is the foundation of our families’ spiritual health here, and some key insights into what I believe the Sabbath, in light of the Gospel, was meant to be like, especially for our kids.
Once again, I never once heard anyone “should” on anyone else. (Thanks, Kitty. If you’re reading this, I love it!) That simply means that no one pretended to have it all together going around telling anyone else what they “should” ne doing. Rather, I sensed an extreme amount of honesty and a dedicated amount of support as a church to help each other, accept each other, with no condemning, but honestly facing where we are and pulling together as a whole to be what God has called us to be and live the life of Love.
It truly was a blessed weekend!
[IMG2LEFT]Three days later, I found myself beginning an Evangelistic series, as I said above, in Carson City, NV.
Carson City, NV
The only word that I can think of that best describes the experience I had at this church is WOW! This was such a warm church! Members were so friendly to those from the community who were visiting for the series. So welcoming, so accepting! And real!
We had a great turnout from the community, and each night we were truly blessed as we penetrated deeper and deeper into the heart of our Heavenly Father, what He feals toward us, and how He is calling us to live the life of Love. Life Unlimited!
God’s grace was amazingly felt by all during the ten days of this truly life-changing series for the many who attended.