I tend to think that pretty much every weekend is good. God always shows up and great things always happen. But some weekends are exceptional, and while I occasionally can see a great weekend coming, normally it's a surprise when it happens. This past weekend was one of those. Let me share with you some of the great things that happened this weekend.
Saturday. When we launched our Saturday evening services, there was truly unbelievable attendance. 265...245...it was shocking. Now we've settled down to something more...predictable - around 100. What's great about that? A few things, actually. In the beginning, we had some 'missionaries'. These were solid PCC'ers who wanted to come on Saturday just to support what we were doing. I can't tell you how critical this was (and still is to some extent), and how grateful I am. But now many of these folks have said, "OK, I came for a while and now I'm going back to Sundays." That means that now we have a pretty good bead on how effective Saturday evenings are. Something like 80-100 adults (plus around 25 kids) are coming fairly regularly on Saturdays who would not or could not come on Sundays. That is incredible. If we can make it through the historically low month of July, we'll be home free.
Baptism. Off the top of my head, I think we baptized 63 people in our biggest year (both baptisms combined). Next Sunday, it looks like we'll baptize OVER 70 PEOPLE in ONE baptism!!! I met several folks yesterday who want to go public with their commitment to Jesus Christ next Sunday with their baptism. It's truly incredible what is happening.
101. We had a PCC 101 yesterday (part 1) and I got to meet a dozen or so people who love our church and what we do. These folks remind me that what we do matters and is effective. For the record, almost everyone in the room was someone who was not going to church when they came to PCC. Some had very little exposure to church at all. (I was also in that category as an adult, as we didn't really ever go to church when I was growing up). We are uniquely equipped and called to make a non-threatening environment for these folks, and the conversation in 101 today reinforced that in me again.
Transformational Moments. God really touched some people this weekend.
- One person told me that there was someone she had struggled to forgive for many years. That person, she said, was on the bottom of her 'list'. God used the message to help her see that she was in the same boat - neither got 100, both needed Jesus, and she finally forgave.
- Another told me that he had prayed today for the first time to accept God's grace through Jesus Christ and offer Him his life.
- One of our staff pastors had an opportunity to pray today with someone as they also committed their life to Jesus.
- I met two people today (independent and unconnected to each other) from European countries, both of whom raved about PCC and how there is nothing like what we do in their hometown across the Atlantic.
- A couple approached me last night to excitedly ask me for the scripture reference I quoted in the message. "Philippians 3:4-11," I said. Then I noticed the lady flipping through the Bible we had given to her a few minutes before. She began in Genesis and flipped, trying to find Philippians. I helped her get there, and she pulled out a highlighter and marked the scripture. It was obvious that God was really working in them both.
- Jim Mustian, our PCC Bookstore Manager, told me today that we have given out 1690 Bibles...before yesterday's services.
The bottom line is this: God is at work at our church, people's lives are changing, and it is a great privilege to be a part of it!
Don't miss the historic baptism next Sunday. See you there!