Never in my wildest imagination that I would have thought that this day would be so big and significant in more ways than one. In the morning we kicked off 40 Days of Community with the hope and prayer that everyone will get connected and people we don’t even know right now may also get connected with the potential of life long relationships. Then in the afternoon, we said our good-bye to Melanie, a person who touched all our lives in significant and profound ways. My prayer is that at least 1 person came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. We may never know of someone did until we reach heaven.
Grace Church continues to show what makes a great church and I am so proud to pastor such a community! In the sermon we looked at the greatest thing that God has given us… Love! Love of God and love for others. In a Christian world that continues to define a great church as: a facility, how many people attend, a rocking band, a charismatic preacher, and/or good parking. Jesus defined a great church like this: By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35 ESV). The ironic thing is I am confident that God will put the former in our path if we commit to NOT neglect the latter. I have seen churches that need to be reminded to love when something like a death occurs in their community because they are so wrapped up in go after the materialistic things of this world. I am grateful that I don’t need to remind Grace Church to love!
So here is my prayer and hope as we journey through the 40 Days of Community:
- Everyone is connected into a Connect Group
- We reach out together to see more people to become followers of Jesus AND become a part of Grace Church
- That we take our life of love to the next level
- That we see more people engaged in serving Jesus
- That people commit to regular worship attendance (to stop living a life that forsakes the assembly). And we define regular worship attendance at Grace Church as attending at least 3 times a month.
- That we all commit to inviting disconnected people into our Connect Groups and worship services
Will you pray with me these things? I am so confident that as we go after a life of love, we will not have enough seats in our sanctuary and parking spots in our parking lot. But we have to do the hard work of prayer, love, and taking risks to invite the disconnected to become connected! This is what it takes to live into the mission that Jesus has for Grace Church:
REACHING people for Jesus, RAISING disciples, and RELEASING an army for global impact!