We've had a lot of great Sundays, but few were as memorable as today. The first day in our new building. It was...incredible. And I am profoundly grateful for so many who worked so hard with such great attitudes.
By the way, we filled the front parking lot at the Middle School, then we filled up the bus loop. There were so many people.
There are so many great stories to tell, so many things to champion as successes. I could probably write for hours, but I'll just do a quick list of a few things that immediately come to mind. I'm going to mention a few names, but there are literally hundred of people, so this is just a few of them:
- Technical. Wasn't it awesome in the big room? The video work, the sound, the lighting, the music and the choir, the dancing. Hundreds of hours were poured into it. But one person dumped his heart and soul into it in a way that was truly shocking: John Starkey. John stayed night after night until 3am tweaking the sound, adjusting speakers, running wires, troubleshooting problems. He never complained...he just got the job done. He had a lot of help, to be sure. But it wouldn't have happened today without John and his team. Way to go, John! Your investment produced excellence today.
- Floors. I saw small groups laying tile, and person after person would clean and wax. But I can't help but thank Chip Stettler and his daughter and Katie. Friday night, the floors in the kids areas needed to be waxed. It would take several hours with no traffic - the perfect night job. Chip and Katie stayed all night long. When I got to church at 7am, they unlocked the door for me to let me in. Chip went home for a few hours sleep, then he was back at noon, working again. The floors looked fantastic. Way to go, Chip and Katie!
- Parking. When I drove in at 5:15 this morning, I thought to myself, "On my list of questions that I need to ask God when I get to heaven, one will be 'Why did it have to rain TODAY?' " The parking lot was a mess. I was worried. But I never saw anyone who wasn't smiling as they came in. I never heard anyone complain. One guy spearheaded the parking folks - David Samuel. In the pouring rain and mud, David and his team parked, waved, smiled, and held umbrellas. You were the first impression of PCC, and you made people want to come inside. Way to go, David! You did your best with an imperfect parking lot and bad weather, and you turned a challenge into an opportunity.
- Carpet. I called a friend, Brad Harris, who is connected to our church and comes sometimes. Brad is a carpet layer. I told him we were out of money and asked him if he would lay the carpet in the office suite for free. He didn't hesitate. He would do it. He was to come Friday, but before he came, another friend arranged for the the carpet for the PowerJam stage to be donated. When Brad got to the church on Friday, we asked him if he'd lay that, too. He agreed. But he ran out of time. He was supposed to come back on Saturday, but had to work late. So, this morning, at 5:30, Brad met me at our building and put that carpet on the PowerJam stage by himself, finishing at about 8am. Way to Go, Brad! It really made a difference. (By the way, our staff bought the carpet for the office suite out of their own pockets...way to go PCC Staff!)
From the bookstore to the student lounge to the coffee. From the bathrooms to the volunteer central area that had a ready made breakfast and goodies for those serving today. From the shuttle drivers and vans that were loaned to the parking bumpers in the parking lot. Signs, greeters, floor cleaners, ushers, carpenters, children's workers, deputy sheriffs. From the people who cleaned windows, painted walls, decorated rooms, hung fixtures, arranged tables, tweaked lights, stained bookcases, and handed out programs. To all who worked so hard to make today happen: WAY TO GO, CHURCH!!!!
It matters. It really matters. So, let me close with a couple of stories.
I met a lady today. She said, "I've been coming to PCC for a little while. It's the only church I've ever enjoyed coming to, and now my husband comes with me, too." They're the target!
A man I met today asked, "Could God really give me a second chance? Does He really look at me and see that what he created is good?" Yes. Unfinished and imperfect could still be good. He told me that he had been messed up for so long. I assured him that God was the God of the second chance. He'll be back. We'll journey together with him. He's the target!
A friend's sister came with her for the first time today and said she was blown away. She doesn't go to church. She's the target.
My daughter told me about helping the guy sitting next to her find Nehemiah. He didn't understand how the Bible is laid out, and how the chapters and verses work. He's the target.
What we do matters. And it mattered in a big way today. Thank you for what you do at PCC!
Greater things are yet to come!