It was an amazing weekend. I spent Saturday at a local balloon festival, helping out where I could, and hanging out with friends. The band I'm in, "Chasing Lions", played as well. There was lots of cool stuff happening that I could share, but the thing that really stood out to me was the sense of community. When we began preparing to launch The Crossroads, we surveyed hundreds of homes to ask them what was the greatest community need. Every survey stated in some form that they did not feel connected to other people, they wanted community.
So Saturday, I watched families mingle and visit. I heard parents say, "I think our kids are in the same class." I saw neighbors meeting neighbors. All day, I hugged on kids from school and talked with parents. At the end of the day, as I sat on a blanket in the field to watch the fireworks (wow), Shawn and I talked about how thankful we were to be church planters. We are so thankful to have completely done away with the concept of church being about a building, but instead to find church being about loving people outside the walls.
We had great services at The Crossroads today. We had a family reunited after several weeks of living in different states due to job transitions. It was incredible to watch them hold hands as they worshiped. Their thankfulness was contagious. Every week that I stand on stage and scan the congregation, I am increasingly thankful for each family. My awe of what God has done and is continuing to do continues to grow.
Worship was good this morning. We were going to be without a drummer this morning because Tammy was working in the children's area. I was feeling whiny about that since the music that we do is much better with drums. As I expressed that to God, I had a very clear impression of his voice in my head, "You have not because you ask not." So I'm thinking, "Okay, who can I ask? There's nobody here except my family." At that moment a new member walked out of the truck carrying a ficus tree. He's been helping me run cables on the stage, and the other day I saw him set up the drums. So I asked, "I know you can set up drums, can you play them, too?" He said, "No." I am not easily deceived and can be very convincing. So he was persuaded to try. He took a percussion class 16 years ago in college. Some of it seemed to have stuck. I was thankful to have someone sitting in for Tammy, but mostly I was awed that God had a plan and let me be a part of it. I love how God provides in the moment of need.
Shawn preached a great sermon this morning about seizing opportunities for Christ. I was very convicted that my routine keeps me from seeing God opportunities. I think that I set myself on autopilot and forget to be aware of God's hand around me. One of the verses Shawn used today was Eph. 5:17, "Don't act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do." I have always applied that verse to rudeness, unkindness, or ignoring other people. But today I thought about how much of my life I live thoughtlessly - on autopilot - and I think that I need to make a point to live my life with great thought and awareness.
The entire sermon, God spoke to me about my future in ministry, and his specific plans regarding that. I have several opportunities immediately ahead of me that I feel a very urgent call and need to explore. Pray that I will be available, and that I will listen closely to God's voice, and be quick to obey.