So, You Want To Be A Disciple!
Fri, 11 Oct 2013
Before we talk about this weekend, let me give a brief report. As you know, last weekend was an unusual experience for us as a congregation. The showing of the “Defining Moments” video from Billy Graham’s “My Hope America” far exceeded anything we could have predicted.
We began on Saturday night, and several people accepted Christ at the end of the film. Many came forward to open their homes in November for the showing of this video. In the two services on the Lord’s Day, we were overwhelmed. In total, in our English services, more than twenty people made public confessions of faith, and when we asked people to come forward and sign a card committing to show the video in their homes, 421 couples and individuals responded. What a sight it was to see all of you standing before the Lord with your cards in hand!
When we were planning this event, Erick Zaldana, the pastor of our Spanish congregation, wanted to show this to his people, but we could not find a Spanish version of the film. So, in good Erick Zaldana style, he had his guys go through the film and subtitle the Spanish words at the bottom of the screen. Somehow, the Graham organization heard what we were doing at Shadow and sent a representative to our services to see if we needed anything. When we told him about our Spanish congregation, he said that he had a Spanish version of the film with voice-overs. So our Spanish congregation got to see and hear the presentation in their own language. Twenty-four people came forward at the end of the showing to give their hearts to Christ, and seventy families signed cards to open their homes for the showing of the film.
In all, more than 50 people gave their hearts to Christ over the weekend (some did not come forward), and more than 500 individuals or families committed to opening their homes to this gospel presentation.
We had our first training session on Sunday night at 5 o’clock, and more than 400 of you showed up. What a day that was!
But it’s not over. We had also determined to show the video in the middle school and high school chapel on Monday, before returning the large screen which had been rented for center stage. As you know, we have many students who attend Christian High from other countries, and we do not require them to sign a confession of faith since we believe we will be given an opportunity to share the Gospel of Christ with them along the way. This has proven to be a very good plan, because many of our international students have been introduced to Jesus Christ while at Christian High.
In the Monday morning chapel, 106 students, including many international students, made professions of faith in Jesus Christ. I think you can see why I have been so excited about this video.
One last note about “My Hope America”: The video that will be shown in the homes was not included in the packets that we distributed on Sunday evening, but each one who signed up to show it will be given their copy in plenty of time for the November showing.
This weekend, we find ourselves at just the right place in the book of Mark to coincide with all that God is doing in our midst. The title of this week’s message is “So, You Want To Be A Disciple!” In this section of Mark, we are introduced to the difference between being a decider or a disciple. Our Lord has gotten His disciples to acknowledge that He is the Messiah. Now He is going to help them understand what that will mean to them and to us, going forward.
We returned to Revelation for the first time last Sunday night, and what a night we had together. The worship at the end of the service was especially meaningful to me. This Sunday night, I will be speaking on “The Divine Interlude.” This message is one of the most encouraging messages in the book of Revelation because it reminds us that, even in the midst of God’s judgment, His mercy is still so available. Revelation chapter ten and verses 1-11 is our text. Notes from last week’s study will be available to all who attend.
As you know, each year at this season we throw a huge party called Royal Night for our neighborhood and for all the children, big and small, from our congregation. This is a huge undertaking, and it is totally impossible without the help of hundreds of volunteers. If you are available to help with this event which takes place on Thursday, October 31, please contact Katie Williams at email@example.com.
The book, WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF?, based on our series by the same title has been released. This weekend and next weekend, copies will be made available after services on Saturday night in the Lobby and Sunday morning in the Pavilion.
I am excited about all that God is doing in our church, and I look forward to seeing you on the weekend.
Love from your Pastor,