I woke up this morning still thinking about our Good Friday and Easter services over the past weekend. I am overwhelmed by God's goodness...indeed, how He blesses us!
The energy and excitement was contagious! Best of all, much of it was coming from our regular attenders and members across all campuses, not only from the staff! That was greatly encouraging, but it wasn't the best part.
The music was stellar, leading us to worship and celebrate the God who is alive and saves us with sincere and joy-filled gratitude. That was deeply moving, but it wasn't the best part.
The messages, from my favorite pastor, were dynamic, insightful, inspiring and challenging. They were thought provoking and convicting, but it wasn't the best part.
We have an incredible community of volunteers that serve each and every week to pull off Atlee's services. Instead of just attending, you choose to help make it happen. Without you, it wouldn't. That kind of support means more than you will ever know! But it isn't the best part.
We are surrounded by an awesome staff who are very supportive and on board, believing wholeheartedly in Atlee's vision, which is ultimately God's purpose: to reach those who are far from Him. That is extremely reassuring, but it’s not the best part.
This past weekend between our various Good Friday and Easter service times at 4 campuses, we had over 2600 folks attend. Scottsville and West End Campuses BOTH broke record attendance on Easter Sunday. While that is incredibly exciting, it’s still not the best part!
You took to heart Jeff’s challenge to get passionate about inviting someone, praying for them and making sure they came with you and then begging God to work in their life. Then we heard your excitement as you told Jeff stories or he received your texts and tweets about your prayers being answered, your invites saying yes or just showing up. And guess what? Even that is not the best part.
At the end of the day…the main thing, the most important thing that matters...THE. BEST. PART! Are the 71 decisions that folks made to put their trust in Christ and receive Him as their Savior! All 4 locations this weekend, at both Good Friday and Easter services, had people raise their hands saying so! THAT. Is the BEST PART! God’s Kingdom grew and people met Christ for the first time in their life!
Notice I did not say our church grew but God’s Kingdom grew. I so appreciate a fellow pastor in SC, Perry Noble’s tweet yesterday, stating that he had prayed for all pastors preaching the gospel and then invited them to tweet back to him with the numbers of those who prayed to receive Christ. It was exciting to see the reply tweets coming in!
Praying for all you pastors today as you share the gospel!! Tweet me updates so I can celebrate with you! #Easter— Perry Noble (@perrynoble) April 20, 2014
Jeff and I also prayed this past week and yesterday morning for our pastor friends at PCC, Coastal and Mountain View as well as all churches and their pastors. Why? Because we are all in this together - for one purpose!
This post may sound more like something you would hear from my husband, Jeff, your Lead Pastor, but as his wife, these thoughts come with an extremely grateful heart. I am deeply grateful for all that takes place at and around, in and through Atlee at all of its campuses. I am so thankful for everything that all of you do and give to partner with us and the staff of Atlee Community Church. This community of believers willing to follow its leaders to volunteer in every aspect of this church to love God, love others and serve the world in hopes that JUST ONE might be reached for the kingdom, does this pastor’s wife a world of good! It says to me that you not only respect your Lead Pastor, but you also believe in the vision of Atlee, and you care about what God cares about: that every person we lock eyes with, matters to Him!
But Easter didn’t end yesterday. The power and joy of the resurrection of Jesus Christ does not end or is put on hold for a year.
We amped things up because we knew that celebrative seasons like this bring so many first time guests who greatly need to hear the gospel. Every person who attended, every person you invited and every person that prayed to receive Christ, matters!
But let’s not stop here...let’s not lose momentum. Let’s keep the same passion going all year for every single Sunday we open the doors or start the live online feed.
Keep the buzz going through social media. Follow and share news from your campus locations and pastors on both facebook and twitter. Did you know Atlee was on twitter? Join the conversation @atleechurch
Most of all, keep inviting, keep praying and keep begging God to work in your family, friend, co-worker, boss, student, teacher, doctor or store clerk's life and bring them to Jesus!
“It All Starts With the Invite!”
And thank you, thank you so much, for being a faithful, serving church community so we can enjoy and celebrate together the rewards of THE BEST PART!