It's time for another Monday Morning Update. What a busy weekend!
Saturday we did another movie night/block party. This time we used Slater Creek Park, the local city park. It's new and a great location, but we had a very low attendance at this movie night. In our evaluation we came up with a few possibilities. 1. The park is not easily visible from the highway - no drive-by stoppers. 2. Poor marketing - We advertised on a mailer that primarily focused on the sermon series (was not easily visible on the card) 3. It was one of the hottest days we have had in quite a while. However, we enjoyed meeting the people who turned out for the event and are already planning and looking forward to one more summer block party in August. We will be collecting school supplies to give away in a needy community at that block party.
The church where we normally practice on Saturday was booked for a wedding, so we set up at the cheer gym Saturday night to allow the band to practice. It was so awesome to be able to practice in our own space. Yes it was hot, and I was sweaty and smelly, but we were able to totally tweak our sound and adjust the settings. I could really get a great feel for what to play and what would sound good in our space since that's where we were practicing. I appreciate the church that allows us to practice on their stage on Saturday, but the sound levels are set so differently that it is harder to really plan out what would sound the best in our cheer gym. The acoustics are just very different in a gym than in a sanctuary.
We had a new drummer hanging out with us this week. He did a great job. I was impressed by how well he listened to me on the keys and to Jake on the guitar. He also really watched Worship Dude and read his body language well for a first timer. Our bass player was also off work and able to come play. So I was just plain excited to be able to mess around a little more on the keys since I did not have to carry the bass line.
Worship Dude picked a great set. Again. This morning while I was drying my hair I was thinking yet again about how amazed I am at the talent God has blessed him with. He came to us with unbelievable talent and great worship leader skills. Then God has grown him incredibly this year. I am absolutely blown away that some guy with that level of ability is serving with us at The Crossroads. It's way more than I ever had the faith to ask God for. Oh, yeah, back to the set - Here it is:
Everyday - Hillsong
I will lift my eyes - Bebo Norman
East to West - Casting Crowns
Wholly Yours - David Crowder Band
Surrender All - Parachute Band
"Wholly Yours" and "Surrender All" have strong surrender overtones. In my Christian walk that is by far the thing I struggle with the most. It is incredibly challenging for me to be completely surrendered to God. I almost always have something that I am holding and refusing to let go. Then I feel like God will strike me with lightening when I sing, "Wholly Yours" or "Surrender All". He knows that what I really mean is "I would love to surrender all, but I don't know how to turn loose of this one thing....or these ten things." So in my head I sang, "God I want to want to surrender it all." Didn't want to lie to God!
Shawn's "God at the Movies" series is great. He has such an eye for seeing God stories in media and using those illustrations to point to scripture. Today's movie was "Terminator Salvation". This movie is an illustration of sacrifice, and second chances. Shawn talked about ways to sacrifice our life for Christ - letting go of our lives so that we can live the life God has prepared for us. (Made me think of that 10th Ave. North song) Then he talked about how we can sacrifice our lives for others. He used that Is. 58 passage that has been speaking to us this summer. His message will soon be online at www.welcometothecrossroads.com Be sure to download and listen to it soon. It's one of the better sermons I've heard from him. It's amazing how he speaks week after week in fresh, interesting ways from God's Word. I love that he always explains how to apply his message to real life. He's an exceptionally brilliant man. He could preach in big, theological terms and be very academic, but instead he speaks simply, with practical application. That takes true genius.
We had several new families stop by to check us out. One of the coolest stories is that a lady who had never been to church - ever in her 41 years- came. And loved it.... wept through the whole service. I heard that she prayed to accept Christ, but I have not confirmed that for sure with anyone who spoke with her. It is so beautiful to see God at work. We also had the opportunity to pray over a new believer in our congregation who will be leaving tomorrow for basic training for the army. We have another baptism coming up August 6. I love this part of church planting - seeing God drastically and dramatically change people's lives.
Continue praying for a meeting place for us. We are in immediate need of space. We are now consistently running about 20 in children's church. We do not have space for them inside. Meeting outside with them works as long as it doesn't rain. When colder weather arrives, we will have to be in a larger space. Please pray for our workers. As we grow, we will have to pull in more workers and right now we are pretty maxed out on volunteers. Pray that those of us who volunteer will be very flexible during this time of growth. We need grace for the journey as we work with children who have not been to church before. We want to provide opportunities for them to hear about Jesus and learn how He can become their Savior. Pray that we will never lose sight of why we do what we do in children's.
We are excited about what God is doing at The Crossroads. I recently reread some of my old blogs. In one of my early ones, I said something along the lines of "I know that some of this is simply excitement about something new and will probably wear off, but I hope that in a year we will still love what we are doing." I am here to say that the excitement has only grown with time. I am definitely tired of sweating and dragging cheer mats, but it is worth every drop of sweat and every tired and aching muscle to see people coming to know Christ. I was looking forward to seeing people accept Christ but it has also been surprisingly beautiful to also see people learning to live Christ. My own lifestyle is challenged as we constantly evaluate how to apply scripture to our lives. I LOVE this church planting gig. I am so grateful to get to be in ministry at The Crossroads.