I am shocked by the results of this litte experiment...
|Napkins for last night's event -- I thought they were cute!|
We're in a new season at CC and I did a little experiment. (Years ago I would have never done this, convinced that it would have been me and two or three friends sitting in the sanctuary by ourselves on the night of the event.) I wondered, "just how much of a new season ARE we in?" I made a personal decision with this event (didn't tell anybody) that I was going to just announce the event but not follow up and call, e-mail, or do a registration. I was just going to see how many women showed up after I simply said, "Hey, come and join me as I share my heart with you about what God is saying for us as a group in this season." I did throw in some chocolate and coffee and tell them the worship team would be there too. But we've done all those things before and much more and it was nothing new.
I was really blown away at last night's result. I shouldn't be. I even apologized to them at the altar and said, "Oh me of little faith!!!" First of all, they rocked it on the attendance and a majority of them were there without me tracking them down and cajoling them to get there. They just showed up! Second, they were primed to hear the message. Last night I preached a pretty hard hitting word. I was wondering how they were going to take it. I'm not going to re-preach my message here by I will just tell you I preached from Isaiah 32:9-15. This is not exactly the most exciting passage of scripture but it was what God gave me. I gave a strong call to the altar and was hoping a few of them would join me there in this invitation to go totally hard core for God. I told them I was going to pray for every woman responding to this call. (I said that thinking I'd just pray for a few while the rest stood at their seats in the sanctuary offering prayer support thinking, "oh isn't that nice that those ladies are receiving such a touch from God...???") Imagine my shock when EVERY WOMAN IN THE BUILDING IMMEDIATELY CAME TO THE ALTAR. Seriously.
I said, "Okaaaayyyyyyyyy...well, I am totally overwhelmed by this response..." I knew all of them probably wouldn't want to stay all night for me to pray for each and every one of them -- they would never get to go home and sleep. I said, "I'm praying a prayer of blessing over you as a group and then I will stay for anyone who is willing to continue to stay. I didn't just pray some little token prayer -- we had us a time there as a group and God really moved. Then probably half of them did migrate on home, but the other half of them did stay and finally at 11:00 PM (service started at 7 pm) we were done in the altars and I was headed home. I was just overwhelmed at the goodness of God and the maturity of our women. IT'S A NEW DAY AT CELEBRATION CHURCH. It's been that way since the last week of June 2010. I know, I've said it before but I'll say it again, there's a surprise -- a new level around every corner at CC. as of late. God is sooooo up to something!!!
Trust me my friends we are truly in a new level when I don't have to babysit and people just come, we have great attendance and they are hungry to receive and every single person comes to the altar. Yeah, I'd call that the next level. If this is a dream please don't wake me up.