This past week the EBC family came together to magnify Jesus Christ and love people toward the gospel. These past few days, my heart has been overwhelmed at the joyful, hospitable, Christ-honoring spirit of our church family. Looking back on God’s blessings this weekend, here are the things I’m most thankful for:
1. A Praying Church Family—Open House Sunday began in prayer. We prayed as a staff, as a church family, and privately. Whatever good thing has happened at EBC, it always traces back to prayer.
2. Good News—People rarely get good news, and sadly they’ve stopped expecting it from church. Yet the gospel of grace is good news. What a joy it was to speak with so many lost people on Sunday who were responsive and intrigued with the loving, gracious, good news of Jesus. The harvest has only begun.
3. Staff Leadership—I’m so grateful for a unified staff that shared the vision and owned individual responsibility. Our team did a fantastic job of leading the church family in serving, soul winning, and laboring together. They led by example. What a great joy it is to see God’s using them in a marvelous way. They deserve a ton of credit for a great job!
4. Church Family Engagement—An Open House is only effective if the church family serves together. It was a great delight to personally see the dozens of ways our church family labored together with God. They invited friends, knocked doors, prepared music, served lunch, remodeled nurseries, cleaned the building, set up pastries, greeted guests, conducted children’s services, ushered, and labored together in dozens of ways. For me, I was grateful to be a part of a wonderful team effort.
5. White Harvest Fields—It’s a huge responsibility to minister the gospel in an area where so few have ever heard it clearly. While New England is “civilized” and “educated” it is also biblically illiterate. It’s incredible to share the gospel with people who have either never heard, or heard only a false gospel. It’s incredible to see their eyes gradually open and their hearts soften. One guest couple told me during lunch, “We’ve never heard that before, but it sure makes a lot of sense!”
6. Incredible Worship—Hats off to our choir and music team… and to a church family that filled the room with joyful worship. Spirit-filled, biblical worship is one of the BEST evangelistic resources that God ever invented! Unbelievers are touched when they see growing Christians really love Jesus and others. From the first choir song to the final trio, our hearts were blessed by great truth presented in well-prepared worship.
7. Restoration Progress—Open House gave opportunity for us to take yet another step in restoring and repairing our needy building. Huge appreciation is deserved to those who demolished and then repainted nurseries, those who purchased and assembled new decor or toys, and those who teamed up to be involved in the general work day effort. The building and grounds are gradually becoming more glorifying to God, and more inviting and useful for guests and church family!
8. Striving Together in Teams—During the day I saw new Christians serving with long time members. I saw church family engaging with unsaved guests in spiritual conversations. I saw behind the scenes servants from grill-masters to dish-washers—all serving with great joy and heart. I saw people sharing the gospel over lunch, and others encouraging baptism for new believers. It was all very cool! Thank you “striving together for the faith of the gospel.”
9. Seed Sown—We all like measurable, visible results—probably way too much. The visible fruit tempts us toward self-congratulations. It’s the invisible fruit that excites me! You cannot love people and preach Jesus with such clarity and sincerity without it having a profound impact in hearts, in ways that you may never see or know. God’s Word is the seed, and we planted that seed in many peoples lives these past few weeks. I’m encouraged with how that seed will grow in the months and years to come.
10. Souls Saved, Hearts Loved—Jesus taught us to preach the truth with love for people. Souls were saved on Sunday. Others will come to Christ over the coming months. Everyone that came to EBC was loved and encouraged. This is what healthy churches do, and I’m delighted and thankful to be a part of a healthy church!
In all, Jesus Christ was magnified! That’s our mission. That’s our reason for being. And it just doesn’t get any better than serving Him together!
Thank you EBC family for loving and lifting up Jesus Christ together!