Take a few minutes and hear how it went, what the UPDATED plan is for Sunday, and why it all matters.
Wow, what a wonderful day it was on Sunday. How my soul missed seeing you, hearing you sing, sharing His Word, coming to His table. And it was beyond anything I would have imagined. Where most churches are seeing a 20-30% return of their people, we had 2x what I prayerfully anticipated. But even with 120+ there, we had plenty of room in the new temporary facility the Lord provided. So INVITE OTHERS INTO THE FRAMILY.
The new format is still a work in progress as we start with Prayer at 10a and allow the Spirit to lead us in the flow of worship in song, the word, communion. We will grow together and more comfortable in coming and going as He leads us in this glorious mess.
We are working to tighten up the time a bit as we know that it is a long time if you have little ones. But feel free to come and go or get as as you need to. Generally plan for prayer to start at 10am and things to wrap up around noon. As you invite new people in just let them know, “We start praying at 10am and worship and the word starts around 10:30. We are usually sent into fellowship around noon. Come for all or part.” [I know that sounds weird in our ‘movie-goer mentality’ of church, but it is far more like what God’s gathered people should be like as we let the Spirit lead us.] For those who need more detail, a still-fluid schedule is included below — and it is CHANGED FROM LAST WEEK.
10:00am Worship in Prayer
10:25am Worship in Song & Closing Time of Prayer
10:30am Calling Passage and Pastoral Prayer
10:40am Worship in Song
11:00am Teaching/Discussion Time
11:40am Worship in Communion
11:50am Worship in Song
11:55am Announcements and Sending Passage
12:00amFellowship — Bring a lunch for you and your family
I am not at all surprised that you did a wonderful job loving others well and extending grace by helping people feel comfortable engaging at whatever level they are able to right now. Please continue to reach out to others, walk across the room, and share your stories. Along those lines, in lieu of a 1st Sunday Fellowship, if you would like to BRING LUNCH FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY, please plan to stay and eat with one another this weekend.
Remember, the strength of our WITNESS is in our WITH-ness — with Him and with one another. So look for ways to be together. This is for Sunday’s, for sure, but also for throughout the week. IF YOU HAVE AN IDEA FOR A SUMMER SMALL GROUP YOU WOULD LIKE TO LEAD to help promote togetherness, either in person or on Zoom, please let me know ASAP.
Along those lines I close with this:
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. — Hebrews 10:24–25
The awesome and glorious Day of the Lord is drawing near.You don’t want to be alone on that day. But I will be honest, as incredibly soul-nourishing as last weekend was, and as excited as I am to be together again this weekend, it was also EXHAUSTING. Some of that is because my ‘socializing’ is out of shape - like sitting on the couch for 11 weeks and then trying to go for a jog. We need to get back in the 'gym of gathering' as His people and let His Spirit build up our lungs back up.
And some of it is because, what the enemy has set out to do in this time of social-distancing is to disconnect God’s people from the Body of Christ — and it is working. PLEASE DON’T LET THE ENEMY WIN by believing his lie that you don’t really need to gather with the people the Spirit has placed you in. This is SUCH DANGEROUS thinking. There is NO PLACE IN SCRIPTURE for the DISCONNECTED Christian. And this is because God knows we NEED one another, to draw strength from one another, to withstand the evil days.
If the past 12 weeks - with all that is happening in our world - hasn’t shown a person the importance of being truly connected to a family of faith, I don’t know what God will need to do to make that happen.
We saw in our journey through Revelation last year that God is shaking His bride awake as He turns up the noise of the alarm to warn His people, “Come out of her My people... lest you take part in her sins and share in her plagues.” — Revelation 18.4
So dear brother and sister, let us double-down on our commitment to gather together that we might equip and encourage and support and cheer on each other. That we might remember that we are called to live as Kingdom people, by Kingdom power, for Kingdom glory. And that we are never closer to Heaven here on earth than when we are among His gathered people — for TOGETHER is what we will be for all eternity.