I hope you’re having a good week! I feel like I’ve been on the road since the last time I wrote this weekly update. Last Thursday I joined about 12 other people for a mission trip to New Caney, Texas. I drove back early (Saturday) to preach on Sunday but then turned right around and left for the SBTC Evangelism conference the following Monday. I got back in town late yesterday evening.
I love being on the road because it gives me some time to think, unwind, and talk with the Lord. This past week was no exception. I came home feeling refreshed and ready to go! I wanted to fill you in on the New Caney Trip and then let you know about what’s going down this Sunday.
The mission trip to New Caney was unlike a lot of mission trips I’ve been on. There was about 12 folks on the team. Men, women, young, old, and everything in-between were represented on our team. The only thing we did on this trip was door-to-door evangelism. If we were to have a “steps” competition with our fitness watches, we could’ve beat anyone! hahaha
Two folks prayed to receive Christ as their personal Lord & Savior. Hundreds more had an opportunity to hear the Gospel. On Saturday our team partnered with the members of the church plant we are partnering with, Emmanuel Baptist Church. In addition to their core team, we were also joined by about 100 people from North East Houston Baptist Church. All in all there were over 150 people present.
As you can imagine, we covered some serious territory! I was blown away by organization and structure put behind this outreach event. They call it a Jericho Project. They had the name and address of every single home within a clearly defined radius of the church plant.
Each team received a sheet (created in Microsoft Excel) with the names/addresses they were supposed to cover. We broke into teams of two to three people and spread out all over New Caney. With each home we visited, we handed out some information about the church and invited them to discover how they could be reconciled to God through faith in Jesus Christ.
As you might expect, we got all kinds of different responses. Some shut the door in our face, some thanked us kindly and took the information, and some engaged in spiritual conversations. Irregardless of the response, the Lord used every encounter for his purposes. I really had a good time meeting so many new people and being a part of something so intentional as it relates to evangelizing that city.
I came away from the experience thinking that we should do the same thing in Abilene. Part of our 2020 Vision is to bless the city. There’s no better way we can bless our city than to share the Gospel with every home.
With that thought in my mind, I asked John (the pastor of Emmanuel) how they got all the information on every home. To my surprise, all of that information was public record. All they had to do was speak with the city or chamber of commerce and get access to the database. Evidentially, it wouldn’t be too hard for us to do either.
Imagine if we were able to get a record of every single home in the city of Abilene. Imagine if we were able to visit every single home and have a record of what we did, what was said, and what happened as a result? Imagine the kind of testimony that would give us as a church? It would take a long time but I believe it’s a worthy investment, especially in light of our 2020 Vision.
It’s a project that’s bigger than any one staff person or any one small group. It would take all of us. And it would take a very organized coordinator. Somebody gifted in database creation and excel spreadsheets. Somebody who could solicit the city for the information and then build a structure that we could deploy throughout the church.
I think that person exists in our church. I don’t think it should be anybody on our staff. The right person for the job exists in our congregation. YOU may be that person. If you are, reply to this email so that we can get started! We may have until 2020 to finish the project but we should get started soon.
Even if we visited every home in Abilene and not a single person became a Christian as a result, it would still be a worthy investment. We’d be able to say that we’ve invited every person in our city to be a part of what God is doing in our church. I’ve read countless times that 90% of people will come to church if they get a personal invitation.
Shouldn’t we be able to say that? Are you able to say that about the people who live on your block? I’m ashamed to admit that I’m not. I’ve not invited them. I’ve not shared the Gospel with them. I don’t even know all of their names. But that’s going to change.
I hope you’ll join me in examining the evangelistic temperature of your faith in Christ. There are so many good things happening IN our church. Let’s also start celebrating what God is doing THROUGH our church because we’re bold and ambitious in sharing our faith and inviting others to our church.
As of now, this is just a burden. Every vision starts with a burden. But if it’s from the Lord then he’ll raise up some workers to help make the vision a reality. If you’d like to help then let me know. If you’d like to serve as a coordinator for the project then let me know.
If you don’t do anything else, then join me in praying what Jesus said in Matthew 9:37-38 “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Be careful of that prayer, though. The Lord may very well call YOU.
Before I go I want to let you know that we will be voting on Daniel Hessler as our next music pastor THIS coming weekend at all three worship services. I’ve actually requested that he not lead worship this weekend so that he’d be able to interact with more of you before/after service. That will also give him the opportunity to sit with his family and introduce them as well.
Since Daniel led worship in all three services a few weeks ago, most of you already have an idea of what he sounds like and how he leads. The search team is in agreement on recommending Daniel with 100% confidence. The deacons and pastoral team have also confirmed that recommendation. Both choirs and other volunteers in our music ministry have responded with great positivity and optimism. (If you’re interested, you can read the job description used during the interviewing process here.)
I hope you’ll be able to join us this Sunday as we confirm God’s leadership in this matter. If you’re not able to make it, you can certainly respond via email or by any other means convenient to you. We will include your feedback along with the rest of the congregation this Sunday.
As always, if there’s anything I can pray for you about, please let me know! Just comment below. Have a great rest of your week!