God is working in our church and I am so grateful. Praise the Lord for the many decisions for Christ on Sunday! We are following up with those who committed their lives to Christ. In fact, I have the blessing and privilege of discipling one of the men starting next week. This Sunday we have the largest class ever of people who have signed up for our church@greathills new member class. (If you know someone who is not a member, encourage them to join us for a free lunch immediately after the worship service in the Great Hall to discover what it means to join our church.) So many of you are living your faith outside the walls of our church and it is making a profound difference. Thank you for bragging on Jesus and our church. What a blessing to see the hand and favor of God showered upon us.
Last week we crossed the $800,000 mark in cash for our Building Vision Campaign! Thank You, Lord! Thank you for your consistent and faithful giving to our 5-in-5 campaign to raise $5 million in five years so we can pay down our debt and also make some much needed repairs and remodels to our church campus. One of the first items we will work on is the coffee shop which will be located where our current library is. This will provide a spacious place for our members and guests to mingle and fellowship while here on our campus. We are also looking at replacing the very worn carpet on the ground floor with stained concrete and also replacing our dated video and audio equipment in the worship center.
Couple of changes I want to give you heads-up on are related to the Good Friday and Easter services this year. We will join many other Austin churches for worship on Good Friday, March 25, at the Irwin Center at 6:00pm. Many of the local pastors will be speaking and Michael W. Smith will lead us in worship. It will be a great night. We will not have a service on our church campus. I encourage all of you to attend the joint worship service and invite someone to go with you. Easter Sunday, March 27, will look a bit different this year. Our talented pastoral team came up with some great ideas. The plan is to have a helicopter drop thousands of Easter eggs on our campus at 10:15 Easter Sunday morning. The children will be able to pick up plenty of eggs. Then everyone will be invited to join us in worship. Stu Smithson, our Young Adult Pastor, will call all the children to the front and share a special story with them. Our worship service will follow and we’ll be out by noon. We are anticipating a wonderful day and many guests. We will not formally receive the offering that morning, but ask that you drop off your tithes and offerings in the baskets as you enter or exit the worship service on that day.
I encourage you to go see the new movie Risen tonight. It is a fantastic film starring Joseph Fiennes. I have seen the movie twice. It is a very powerful story based on the grandest story of all—the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The primary narrative involves a Roman centurion named Clavius. He is a hardened unbeliever until something happens that he could not refute. Movie critic website Rotten Tomatoes gave the movie a 100% rating; I have never seen this before as this group is uber critical. God’s favor is on this movie and many are going to believe on King Jesus as a result of watching it.
As you can probably tell from reading this article (if you have read it, for it is lengthy) that I have never been more encouraged in my five plus years of serving as the pastor at GHBC. We are experiencing a special touch of God and I give Him all the praise and glory. There is unity in the church; people are getting saved; and God’s people are praying, unified and radiantly on mission. Thank You, Lord! You are a good, good Father indeed. (People here at the Corner Bakery probably think I am really sad as I type these words in tears. But they are tears of joy for sure.)
Thanks for all the prayers for my marathon run last week. I survived thanks to Gary and Christine Jones who encouraged and helped me greatly. I hit the proverbial wall at mile 23 and ran miles 18 through 26.2 with a cramp in my right calf. There was a point when I thought to myself that I had lost my mind—a 51-year-old man running his first marathon! But later that night I was thinking about my next one.
See you Sunday as we kick off our new sermon series HELP! Our text is Matthew 7:24-29. And we are baptizing a bunch of people!