When God says, “Don’t preach.”

when god says don't preach

I’ve been trying to figure out how best to write down my thoughts about what happened at Evangel Church this past Sunday. I thought that if wrote it down on social media it would come off the wrong way. But to not say ‘anything’ I felt was horribly unfair to hiding what God did. So I thought I would blog about it.

Church on Sunday was something I will probably never forget. I’ve had a few days now to think more about what happened; about what God was doing in the hearts of all of us as a church family.

The service was an hour and a half of “God’s agenda… not ours.” From the moment the congregation started singing I knew that something different was going to happen. There was no emotional reprieve… only momentum. With each verse, each chorus, each song the level of anticipation and sense of God’s Presence grew. It was like being on a date between the Maker and the Made that hit it off from the get go and was only getting better as the date went on.

I looked around and people had already started to come up into the altar area on their own. People were hungry. People ARE hungry for what God is doing. By the time I went up after the ‘singing’ (we ended up singing for another 30 minutes afterwards) I called others to join those already up at the front. Called people to come up who were lacking the Presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives. Called for those who were sick to be prayed for by anyone around them.

There was ministry EVERYWHERE…. People crying. People praying for those who were crying. People standing with hands raised. People curled up on the floor weeping. Presence… everywhere.

Let me be clear. There was no ‘smoking gun’ for the service. No new song. No ‘special’ event that tipped the scales. There wasn’t a new formula for us to now try to mimic.

There was though a sense of expectancy in the room. I could already sense it during the preservice prayer. We were waiting. We were longing. We were desiring more of God.

What I have found over the years is that we only get more of God in our lives one way… by releasing more of ourselves. Surrender. It’s not about God deciding to give us more of Himself. He gave us His Son! He built the broken bridge of relationship all the way over to us… except for one last step. That step is the only step towards God we need to take.

I didn’t feel right preaching on Sunday. It was already noon. Our time of worship made celebrating communion one of the most memorable I’ve ever experienced. We ‘felt’ the joy of what we gained from Jesus’ sacrifice. His Presence.

Jeremiah 2:2 says “I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved Me.” I got to see what I’ve been ‘seeing’ for a long time for Evangel. A Bride totally in love with the Groom; and a Groom loving on the Bride that He laid down His life for.

At least that’s how I see it,

 

C

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The Recipe For Great Churches

ingredients

Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. (1Corinthians 12:13 NIV)

It’s a great concept to read. It’s a great rally cry for churches. It’s an easy sell. But what about putting it into practice? What does something like ‘that’ look like?

Well I can tell you first-hand how much this passage of Scripture came to mind this past week. On Sunday night we hosted our missions event at the church and had a GREAT time! It was SO much fun to laugh and chat with everyone as we enjoyed some amazing food and talked about what our team is planning on doing while we’re away.

I led the night… but to be honest with you, there were a NUMBER of areas that I had NO idea how things were prepared, implemented, or executed. I didn’t serve ONE plate. I didn’t take ONE ticket. I didn’t play ONE note. I didn’t clean ONE table.

But it all got done. The event was a hit and everything seemed to get accomplished. It was a great success! That’s because each member of the team knew that they had a part to play and made sure that it got done. The night went by smoothly not because ‘someone’ took control… but because ‘everyone’ did their part.

That’s what God is calling us to at Evangel. Not leaning on the few to make it all happen… but allowing everyone to be a part of the wonderful work that God has for us to do. Our decision to refrain from doing our part either makes someone else have to do it or it doesn’t end up getting done. We had INCREDIBLE food on Sunday night… but it would have been useless to have kept it in the kitchen while leaving everyone out around the tables starving. Let’s ALL get out of the ‘kitchen’ and serve the world the BEST thing they’ve ever needed… Let’s bring them Jesus.

At least that’s how I see it,

Craig

What A Morning!

Well I’m just taking a break in between the services and wanted to say how excited I am about the morning.

This morning I got to experience Evangel first-hand… no more stories, guesses, or wondering. I was so impressed with the people’s friendliness, the passion for the Word of God, and the praise and worship. There were so many great people that we got to meet and they really went out of their way to make us feel at home.

It’s surreal to think that this was the beginning of a great and wonderful journey as we grow in our faith with God.

It was definitely a very exciting day. Can’t wait for the next one. Isn’t that the way church is supposed to be?

At least that’s how I see it,

 

Craig