“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
Last week I wrote about how excited I was for this past weekend. It was the weekend of our public launch at STSA – the weekend where we felt God wanted to take the good things we have going inside the church and make them known to the community outside. And just as the first century church “went public” on the Day of Pentecost, we felt like God wanted us to do the same this past weekend as we celebrated Pentecost as well.
So how’d it go?
FANTASTIC! Magnificent! Best weekend to date! YAHOO!!!!!!
I don’t think I’ve ever felt God’s presence working more strongly in the church than I do now. He is working. He is touching hearts. He is gathering together souls from all the ends of the world to be part of His family. And I/we are honored to be part of the process.
So how many new members did you add? ZERO
How many people did you baptize? NONE
How many sick people were healed or demons cast out? ZIP and ZILCH
How many miracles did you witness? Well, my preaching was under an hour and most people would say that’s sort of a miracle. But other than that, no miracles to report.
So what made the weekend so fantastic???
This weekend wasn’t about results. It wasn’t about numbers. It wasn’t about what we accomplished, but rather it was about what we did. It was about being obedient to God’s call. It was about stepping out of comfort zone and being BOLD. It was about “letting our light shine before men, that they may see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven.”
Don’t get me wrong, the numbers were great. We had a large turnout on both days.
On Saturday, at the Run for Hope 5k race, we had more than 300 people from the community come out for the race and free BBQ afterwards. The event raised about $8,000 for children with cancer and sickle-cell disease, but more importantly, we used the event to exhibit one of our core values at STSA: GENUINE LOVE FOR THE COMMUNITY.
It was great seeing our members out there – handing out water bottles, cheering on racers, laughing and playing with kids. We showed the community that we aren’t here to preach to Arlington, but just to love Arlington and be witnesses for Christ (click here to see pictures from the race).
And then on Sunday – while we may not have had a crowd of 3000 people like they did on the original Day of Pentecost – we definitely hit our max attendance in our church’s short history (nothing makes a church leader happier than having to pull out an extra row of chairs – instant pick me up!).
But again, the key wasn’t the numbers. As I said earlier, it wasn’t about what we accomplished but rather what we did.
I was soooooooo proud of our church members as they let their light shine in so many ways – inviting friends and bringing them to church, going out their comfort zone to meet new people, searching for guests and doing everything in their power to make them feel welcome. It was fantastic and several people who showed up said the same thing to me afterwards: "You have something special in this church.”
YES WE DO!!! What’s so special? Our God is alive and active and working and we – the members of the church – are just letting His light shine to others.
That is the job of the church and the job of every Christ follower out there. The analogy I often use in the church is that we are to be like those tall lighthouse towers – filled with light on the inside and then opening the window so others can see as well. That’s all we did this past weekend. Nothing more, nothing less. We just opened the window so others could see the light.
Can you think of a better way to spend a weekend than that? I can’t.