I'm an old football player, and Sunday is like Game Day. As a Pastor, it's the day the church convenes for worship. It's the day many of our staff plan for all week. It's the day our teams at Grace are on high alert and in full-service mode. It's game day. Here are a few of my highlights from today:
1. Stories. Our theme this morning at Grace was "the gospel still works in 2011." There was no official sermon, but at each campus we heard 4 different life stories from people who have had their lives radically changed by Jesus. It was amazing. We traced some of Jesus' encounters as he was making his way to Jerusalem to die for humanity. It has always amazed me that on his way to rescue the whole world, He still had time for individuals. We read about the woman at Bethany, Zacchaeus, and the 10 lepers who were healed by Jesus. In the same way - God is still at work in the lives of individuals. I was so inspired to hear from Michael and Christine Yost, Erika Zerkel, Heiden Ratner, Roy Nordin, Eve Wozniak, and Jon Coyne. (I wasn't able to hear the stories of Penny Roose and Michelle Pfeifel in the Commons but heard they were strong). I love to hear about how God is at work in the lives of our people - and these were powerful stories of the strength of the gospel at work today. Awesome.
2. Grace Harbor Creek visit - I hosted the service at 9:15 at Grace McKean and then picked up my family and hustled out to Grace Harbor Creek for the 11:00 service. It was our last preview service before the official launch on Easter Sunday and it was my first visit since we've been in operation out there. Wow, was I blown away. The team was on point - so friendly and energetic at every turn. The facility was beautiful - totally transformed from a high school into a church. Pastor Mike and Dustin were fantastic - they brought truth and insight into every part of the service. Melanie and all the support teams were so focused - they were still taking notes throughout the whole experience evaluating and adjusting so that by next weekend all the bugs are worked out. If you live in Wesleyville, Lawrence Park, North East, or Harbor Creek and you don't have a church home, I want to invite you to join us at Harbor Creek High School next Sunday at 11 AM for Easter Service. It's going to be awesome. I was amazed to see years of prayer and planning finally coming into focus at Grace Harbor Creek ... humbling.
3. Final Preparations - I just sensed a final mood of preparation for Easter. As I looked at all the cards hanging around each worship space with names of friends and relatives and neighbors on them - I believe the people of Grace are more serious than ever about inviting folks to join them at church next weekend. There is a prayerful anticipation about what God is going to do in our midst. I can't wait! This week...
Good Friday Service
6:30 PM on Friday the 22nd at Grace McKean only
9:15 and 11:00 at Grace McKean (please attend at 9:15 for crowd considerations)
11:00 at Grace Harbor Creek
Click through for some more details here
If you attended worship services today - what were your highlights?