Most of the time I keep this stuff inside and share it with God and maybe a few others. I feel like being honest here though. We picked a Sunday here in November as a 100% Sunday where we challenged each person to invite one person that day. Deliberately (because of all the H1N1 buzz), we called it E1R1 (each one reach one) and have been building it up for a few weeks.
I heard a story about a gal who told her friend that all she wants for her birthday is for her to come to church with her. I know there are people who burn with the burden of God for this lost world. Most however, don’t care. I’ve been asking God for a church full of people who get it – people who are radical for Jesus. We’ve been in a Keith Green season again at our home. Two plus decades ago his music cemented my wife and I on a different path than most take. Please, please listen to this song.
Do you see, do you see all the people sinking down? Don’t you care, don’t you care? Are you gonna let them drown?
How can you be so numb, not to care if they come? You close your eyes and pretend the job’s done.
“Oh bless me Lord, bless me Lord” You know it’s all I ever hear. No one aches, no one hurts. No one even sheds one tear.
But He cries, He weeps, He bleeds and He cares for your needs. And you just lay back and keep soaking it in. Oh, can’t you see it’s such a sin?
Cause He brings people to you door, and you turn them away
As you smile and say, “God bless you, be at peace” And all heaven just weeps cause Jesus came to your door You’ve left him out on the streets
Open up open up and give yourself away You see the need, you hear the cries So how can you delay
God’s calling and you’re the one But like Jonah you run
He’s told you to speak But you keep holding it in, Oh can’t you see it’s such a sin?
The world is sleeping in the dark That the church just can’t fight Cause it’s asleep in the light. How can you be so dead
when you’ve been so well fed? Jesus rose from the grave and you, you can’t even get out of bed
Oh, Jesus rose from the dead. Come on, get out of your bed
How can you be so numb not to care if they come
You close your eyes and pretend the job’s done
You close your eyes and pretend the job’s done
Don’t close your eyes
Don’t pretend the jobs done
Come away, come away, come away with Me my love,
Come away, from this mess, come away with Me, my love.
In our kids department they gave out soda pop on E1R1 Sunday to kids who brought a friend and the other departments got creative with incentives. We talked about pizza coupons or whatever for adults who invite others. We ended up giving out free loaves of bread from Great Harvest Bread Co. to our 150 visitors. Even so,,, honestly, I’ve been somewhat unsettled about this special weekend…
Does it really take pop and pizza to get people to obey God’s Word and be contagious with their faith? God have mercy on us.
Also on the table is a Comedy Night maybe in February. It’s a proven outreach event other growing churches have used to connect with people who wouldn’t otherwise come on Sunday. I’ve been praying about it.
It’ll be a great event. I can make a case that we need to enter into the joy of the Lord and that people need hope and life and the uplift. There is enough negative out there already, people need encouragement and a nite on the lighter side may be just what the doctor ordered. But here’s what’s in my spirit— these are days for the faithful remnant to weep before the Lord in repentance, not days to laugh. I’m open to dialog here on this, however my sense is you don’t want to be laughing when the Lord isn’t laughing. Yesterday I preached from James 4:9 “Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.” These are days to rend our hearts and return to the Lord.
We deserve judgment not pizza and God is justified in the judgments that are on the horizon. Look at the nation and the state of the church. Look at the state of your heart. And here we are thinking about Comedy Nights begging and cajoling overfed people to do 101-level stuff – like show up and bring someone who doesn’t know Jesus.
Maybe this is coming off wrong – maybe you are thinking — looks like the pastor is having a hard day. No, the pastor has been in prayer all week and senses a gravity from the throne room about the hour in which we live. It’s time for the all night prayer meetings to be packed out again and for those who get it to weep before the Lord and seek his mercy. The church has gone from casseroles to pizza and the Lord is justified to dish up some judgment.
E1N1 UPDATE: E1N1 was a success at CATG. We had salvations in every service. This morning my Twitter and Facebook is littered with comments emitting zeal for what God did. Here’s a sampling…
Nate Nowak pray for r youth god is up to something last to sundays god has shown up its awesome
Amy L Prins Please pray that what was done tonight will not be snatched up by the enemy
Andrew Campbell campbells are buying goats for christmas! epic!
Caleb Hickey Just preached the gospel to a witch that called in to God TV. She got accepted the Lord! Thank you Jesus!
Jared Dupert Burn has been amazing! Bring on the explosion at Church at the Gate God. We are hungry for it!
Amy L Prins Church was amazing God worked in ways I was not expecting-I pray there was some deliverance thanks Ashley and pastor D
Tyler Carr amazing night at Youth Group
Kaitlyn Hickey Jesus is pretty freaking amazing
Liz Hansen Jesus is not the means to an end, He IS the End….Do we want God? Or do we want what He can give us? God will never give us something that will replace Him in our hearts. Thanks, Pastor Hickey, for an awesome Sunday message!!! Go God!
Caleb Hickey Things i am thankful for: renewal, that witch getting saved, a good night at NHOP, and all the tre moore vomit stories
Mary Elston Boen I’m so thankful for our church and the people who offer help w/out is asking for it! Truly grateful…
Kaitlyn Hickey is at church if you’re not well then you should be
Also, there are many many comments about the exciting day of football yesterday. Thank God for the simple pleasures too. However, do your simple pleasures replace Him in your heart and keep/pull you from having a zeal for the house of the Lord? Reflecting on this I couldn’t resist sending out this Tweet a couple hours ago…