I peek. Shew…that feels so good to finally confess!
At 801South, we offer an invitation for everyone in the crowd to follow Jesus every single week. Sometimes the invitation is as simple as me saying something like, “If you feel as though God is becoming real to you today, please fill out the bottom of the message notes, check the box, and hand it to someone on the Hospitality Team on your way out. I’ll be sure to contact you this week to talk more about it.” Other times, this invitation is in a prayer following the message.
Why do we make this ask every single week? Let’s say that Josh has a friend named Wiley. Josh knows that Wiley is searching for more in life. Whatever the method we use, I never want Josh to bring Wiley to our large group gathering and there not be an opportunity for Wiley to consider if perhaps a relationship with God is that “more” for which he is searching. Instead, I want everyone to be able to trust that whoever they bring will have the opportunity to change their heart because of their experience at 801South.
This past Sunday, we admitted that there were some of us in the crowd who were not living our lives with God. Through Jesus, I believe that God has chosen to live with us. I wanted to offer people the opportunity to make that choice. To begin (or begin again) living life with God. I think it’s the best life possible.
So even though I ask people to keep their eyes closed and heads bowed as I invited those who were not doing so to begin living a life with God, I peeked. I just can’t help myself. This is what makes the Setup Team get here at 6:00 a.m. to put out chairs. This is what makes the Hospitality Team stand under the hot sun or rain in the parking lot directing cars. And this is what gets me out of bed in the morning. Seeing people make a move toward a life with God through a relationship with Jesus. For me, this is the greatest and highest mission of the church.
When I peeked, I loved what I saw. There were a handful of people…various ages and stages of life…who responded outwardly to an inward decision. Love it!
I’m excited for the ways this current series has engaged (or reengaged) people with the story of God that we find in the Bible. I’m especially excited when people choose to make the story of God their story.
This coming Sunday, we will conclude our Four Small Words series and I will share how God goes deeper than just being with us. This will be even more good news for those who are not currently living with God. We will also take a look at how you can use these Four Small Words as a non-intimidating way to share your faith with those in your life.
See you Sunday. Invite a stranger. Bring a friend.