You know what I was reminded of on Saturday night? I love feeding people. I do. Janet and I catered the meal for the “Welcome to Coastal” party for Wes, Bri, & Charlotte. Really had a fun time. Good crowd. Good laughs. And yes, good food. It’s a meal we could make in our sleep – BBQ, Rice, Hash (we actually bought this), Mac & Cheese, Cole Slaw, Dessert, Tea. But whatever is on the menu, I love feeding, serving, and caring for people. I love seeing the smiles, hearing the laughter, facilitating the community.
You know what? I love feeding people on Sunday mornings even more. I do. I love listening to God, wrestling with a passage, learning our people, struggling over the wording of a sentence, praying over a service, anticipating the moment. But most of all I love seeing the life change. Sometimes it’s a big radical change. But many times, it’s the little things, the small steps taken toward a closer relationship with God. But it all matters, it’s all important, and the gates of Hell get pushed back in the process. One of the guys in my Small Group recently told me he had been more consistent in reading his Bible, another couple opened up about the struggle of addiction in their family and is getting help, a woman asked for prayer for her sister, a child went home and searched his Bible for a nugget of truth, a woman renews her commitment to her marriage, a single adult is finding his satisfaction in Christ, teenagers serving in Ministry and inviting friends to Youth Group, and more exciting than anything else – someone gives their life to Jesus Christ. They cross over from death to life. I love what I get to do!
On Sunday our attendance was down from the week before, but really not that bad. From week to week different people are on vacation, traveling, and out of town. That’s the reality of summer. We did have a family return from VBS and bring their son back to Youth Group again. Wes led worship with a new group of musicians on Sunday and continued to knock it out of the park. He is in his sweet spot here at Coastal – worship and students. My message was the last in our “Wanted” series and it was geared to single adults. Had several single adults tell me they needed to hear what I said. Several married people said the same thing.
Sunday night we began to take down all of the props and decorations from the “Wanted” series. Mary, our Treasurer, paid bills – which she does every Sunday night. We’ve had a lot of extra expenses lately, mainly VBS, and of course, a new full time staff person. You’d be surprised at all the miracles of faith that take place on Sunday night – at least that’s when we get to see the results. We need “x” amount to pay bills. Things look tight. Mary wonders where it’s coming from. And then someone who wasn’t at church in the morning drops by with their offering. Someone gives online. And without fail, I hear Mary shout out a laugh of wonder and amazement. God provides. I’m serious, ask Mary, it happens all the time.
This Sunday we begin our annual “At the Movies” series. I’ll post more about it later, but don’t miss this Sunday! Movies are a part of the fabric of people’s lives. It’s a part of our culture’s daily conversation. So, for the month of August we will simply use the popular cinema as a hook to discuss deeper spiritual truth and engage the culture. Invite and bring a friend and then go out to lunch after church and simply continue the conversation that I’ll start on Sunday morning. We might even give away some cool stuff.
See you Friday night at our Spaghetti Dinner/Silent Auction fundraiser for our Student Ministry. Like I said, I love feeding people.